Snorkeling the Silfra Fissure in Iceland

The Silfra Fissure is found between the Eurasian and North American plates in the Thingvallavatn Lake in Thingvellir Park in Iceland. This natural phenomenon has become a favorite place to snorkel and scuba dive due to the clearness of the glacial water, caused by the natural filtering process, which allows one to see down as much as 260 feet, and the rare opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive between continental plates. Also, the water of the Silfra Fissure is some of the cleanest on the planet. You’re encouraged to drink the water to experience the sensation.

The Silfra Fissure is one of the top fifty diving sites. And for visitors, especially experienced scuba divers, diving in the destination is considered a “dive of a lifetime.”

Scuba diving or snorkeling the Silfra Fissure in Iceland includes three main sites. These are the Silfra Cathedral, Silfra Hall, and Silfra Lagoon.

The best visibility is found at the Silfra Cathedral where one can look down and experience clear water for approximately 360 feet. However, scuba diving to the bottom of Silfra Cathedral is reserved only for the most experienced. Snorkeling, on the other hand, is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by the novice to the pro. Also, unless you’re proficient at diving, do not bring underwater camera equipment. A professional tour guide can make arrangements to take photos of the area for you.

Silfra Cathedral’s water is approximately 39 Farenheight. Therefore, you will not see plant life or animals. The water is too cold. However, diving can be done comfortably through the use of a drysuit.

Unlike some other locations, you do not need a diving license to experience the Silfra Fissure. It is a good idea, however, to be physically fit enough to move around in the water and to go under the water if you choose. Visitors who are not physically fit will have a difficult time maneuvering the Silfra Fissure.

Experiencing the Silfra Fissure

The best way to experience the Silfra Fissure is to do it with a trained professional. One way to accomplish that is with a Silfra Fissure snorkeling and diving tour. If you own a vehicle in Iceland, you can drive yourself to Thingvellir Park and hook up with your tour guide. Or, in many cases, snorkeling and diving tours will pick you up in Reykjavik and take you to the park. Once you arrive at the Park, the tours are typically 30 minutes to an hour.

What to Wear When Snorkeling or Diving the Silfra Fissure

To experience the waters of the Silfra Fissure, whether you are snorkeling or diving, you’ll need a drysuit. Both drysuits and wetsuits are designed to keep you warm from the cold water and the cold air. However, a wetsuit is not waterproof. A drysuit, on the other hand, is entirely waterproof and, therefore, will keep you warmer than a wetsuit. It’s something you can bring on your own, or it can be provided for you by your tour guide. Getting into a drysuit, especially for the first time, can be difficult. But it is something that your experienced tour guide can help you with. For participants who are experienced and daring and who can safely withstand the cold of the Silfra Fissure, a wetsuit can be worn, but this is rare. Drysuits are the suits to wear for the water.

Related Experiences to the Silfra Fissure

Depending on your Silfra Fissure tour, there may be additional sights of Iceland added to the experience. For example, the Geyser hot spring is a popular destination as well as the Gullfoss waterfall. The most professional and popular Silfra Fissure tours contain everything you need to enjoy the experience thoroughly.