Information about Silfra

Photo from Snorkelling Silfra Day Tour

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. 



Geography of Silfra

Silfra from above

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.

Photo from Small Group Silfra Snorkelling from Reykjavík

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

Photo from Drysuit Snorkelling Tour 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. 

Photo from Into The Blue Snorkelling Day Tour

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

Photo from Diving Silfra and Golden Circle Tour

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.

 

Services near Silfra

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Silfra

Gjábakkahellir

Gjabakkahellir (a.k.a. Helguhellir or Stelpuhellir ('Girl cave')) is a  lava tube, located in the area of Thingvellir National Park. Gja...

View

Þingvellir

Þingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value. The Icelandic parli...

View

Almannagjá

  Almannagja gorge is situated in Thingvellir National Park. It is one of the park's most impressive and well known features and marks the e...

View

Öxarárfoss

Öxarárfoss is a waterfall situated within Þingvellir National Park in southwest Iceland.  The waterfall flows out the river ...

View

Hrafnagjá

  Hrafnagja is a 7.7 meter long canyon, 68 meters at its widest, located at Thingvellir National Park in South Iceland. The Hrafnagja canyon ma...

View

Þingvallavatn

Þingvallavatn (anglicised as Thingvallavatn, “Lake of the Parliament”) is a rift valley lake located roughly forty minutes drive f...

View

Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is a 300 km route to the 3 most popular natural attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvell...

View

Þórufoss

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Anna Jonna Ármannsdóttir. Þórufoss is an 18 m (62 ft) high waterfall found e...

View

Hengill

  The area of the impressive volcanic mountain Hengill is a geothermal site and a source of energy for the south of Iceland. Two power stations...

View

Lyngdalsheiði

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Christian Bickel. Lyngdalsheiði is a heathland in South Iceland, known for its numerous caves. ...

View

Glymur

In Hvalfjordur in West Iceland you can stand in awe before Iceland’s highest waterfall. The mighty Glymur, in the river Botnsa falls down nearl...

View

Skalafell

Photo From: Skíðasvæðin - Bláfjöll & Skálafell Facebook.  Skálafell is a volcanic mounta...

View

Nesjavallavirkjun

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Gretar Ivarsson. Nesjavallavirkjun is a geothermal power station in southwestern Iceland, operated by O...

View

Nesjavellir

At the Nesjavellir geothermal area in Southwest Iceland, you’ll find Iceland’s second-largest geothermal power station. The Nesjavellir G...

View

Móskarðshnjúkar

Móskarðshnjúkar is a mountain and popular hiking route, situated in the south-west corner of Iceland next to Mt. Esja.  The mo...

View

Laugarvatn

Laugarvatn is a hamlet of around 200 people, by the lake of the same name and originally formed around the boarding school there. It is located...

View

Hengladalsá

Hengladalsa is a river in Southwest Iceland.  The river has its source by the Hengill area, from valleys Innstidalur, Middalur and Fremstidalur,...

View

Reykjadalur

Reykjadalur ('Steam Valley') is a highly scenic valley innermost of Hveragerdi town. As the name of the valley implies, this is a geother...

View

Gljufrasteinn

“Whoever doesn't live in poetry cannot survive here on earth.” These are the words of the late Halldór Kiljan Laxness, a 1955 N...

View

Skjaldbreiður

  Skjaldbreidur is a shield volcano in southwest Iceland. It is indeed shaped like a broad shield, whence it derives its name. The volcano cul...

View

Tours near Silfra

Golden Circle Tour with Snorkeling in Silfra

Golden Circle Super Jeep Safari and Snorkeling Trip This trip combines snorkeling and super jeep......

View

Small Group Silfra Snorkelling Adventure from Thingvellir

Swim between the continents with this fantastic snorkelling tour at one the top marine sites in......

View

Wetsuit Snorkelling Tour in Silfra

Join this wetsuit snorkelling tour in Silfra fissure at the UNESCO World Heritage Site,......

View

Drysuit Snorkelling Tour in Silfra

Dive into this drysuit snorkelling tour of Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO......

View

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......

View

Golden Circle Express with Reykjavik Whale Watching

Join us on an unforgettable full day combo tour taking you to some of the most popular......

View

Silfra Snorkelling Tour

Join this fantastic snorkelling tour in the world famous Silfra Fissure, found in Iceland's only......

View

8 Day Summer Package | Iceland in Depth with a Greenland Day Tour

Join this eight-day excursion to see the greatest sites of Iceland and to enjoy a......

View

Silfra and the Golden Circle | Snorkelling and Sightseeing

Admire the incredible sites of the Golden Circle, and see one of them in an exhilarating and......

View

Small Group Silfra Snorkelling Tour from Reykjavik

Embark on a snorkelling adventure in Silfra fissure, located in Þingvellir National Park, for a......

View

Diving Silfra & Golden Circle Tour

Pack adventure and sightseeing into a single day. On this excursion, you will scuba dive between......

View

Diving Silfra & Horseback Riding Tour

Pack two activities into one day with this scuba diving and horse-riding combination tour. Those......

View

Diving Silfra Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the incredible underwater wonderworld of Silfra fissure and embark on a dive......

View

Dive Silfra Fissure & Visit a Lava Cave | Day Tour

Plumb the depths of Iceland’s hidden underwater and underground worlds, with this combo tour of......

View

Snorkelling Silfra & Golden Circle Tour

Fully immerse yourself in Iceland’s most famous sightseeing route, by snorkelling through Silfra......

View

Snorkelling Silfra & Horseback Riding Tour

Combine snorkelling and horse-riding on this action-packed day tour. This excursion should not......

View

Snorkelling Silfra & Lava Caving Day Tour

Explore the hidden wonders of Iceland with this snorkelling and lava caving combination tour.......

View

Snorkeling Silfra Day Tour

Silfra is a fissure between the North American and Eurasian continental plates. Silfra......

View

Freedive Silfra Tour in a Wetsuit

Marvel over Iceland’s hidden underwater world on this freediving tour of Silfra ravine. This......

View

Snorkelling & Lava Caving Adventure From Reykjavik

Jump into the deep end with this fantastic snorkelling tour in the glacial spring, Silfra......

View

Golden Circle in a Super Jeep | With Langjokull Glacier

Jump aboard a modified Super Jeep and see the sights of the Golden Circle in style before......

View

Golden Circle Sightseeing & Silfra Snorkelling | Small Group Tour

Don't miss out on this exciting combo tour exploring the great attractions along the Golden......

View

Diving in Silfra Fissure & Whale Watching in Faxafloi Bay

Venture the clear waters of Silfra fissure and dive between two continents before heading out to......

View

Whale Watching & Snorkelling Excursion

Start your day in Iceland with a morning snorkelling tour in the world-renowned Silfra fissure,......

View