So Silfra has been on my to do list for as long as I can remember and my interest in it has developed with every visit to Iceland. On this trip I wanted to see how accessible this famous site was to non divers. This cold water dive attracts people form all over the World but tour companies have realised over time that non divers also want to access this natural wonder. We met with Scuba Iceland to discover Silfra from a snorkelers perspective.
Planning the trip with Scuba Iceland staff Byron and Lena was incredibly easy. Both guys have a vast and expansive history with diving and that made me feel comfortable and safe. They were keen to assist me with pre trip questions and replied quickly. I was impressed with the booking service and that is always a good sign!
The tectonic drift of the North American and European plates is why Silfra and the National park are there. They are a direct result of this gradual movement over time and that movement is still very active and current, constantly widening and deepening Silfra. Scuba Iceland are a 5 star PADI Centre who offer diving and snorkelling experiences all over Iceland but are highly rated for their trips out to Silfra Fissure and it was with no great surprise after we met the exceptional staff team. Divers with a real love of the site and motivation to share it.
Kitting up and chatting pre snorkel was exciting and there was a real buzz of an atmosphere with people keen to find out more about the site and its geographical importance.
Situated in South West Iceland, this site, with visibility stretching over 100 meters flows with cool waters from Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjokull. Filtered through lava fields water makes its way through to Silfra fissure and the gentle filtration process results in some of the clearest water I have ever seen. So clean and fresh that it is recommended to sip the water on snorkels and dives, boasting that it is some of the best tasting water in the world.
The dramatic rock formations at this site are jaw dropping and the shades of light green and vibrant blue that pierce the water are absolutely incredible!
Due to the continuous flow of glacier originated water the temperature here is a consistent 2-4 degrees all year round. The concept of cold water diving/snorkelling can put some people off but to be honest it is totally secondary to the experience. The guides ensured we were kitted up in heavy duty dry suits, thermal undersuits, gloves and hoods and were very informative and helpful with tips of how to keep warm and what to do if we got too cold in water to relive any discomfort.
As soon as you walk down the steps that lead into the stunning entry point at Sifra the mouth of the site draws you in. The colours of rocks, smell of the water and crispness of the air put you in a state of bliss and slowly submerging allows a view of a site so beautiful that it is hard to describe.
Snorkelling through 4 sections of the site, each offering something different in terms of visuals allows you as snorkeler to experience the depths of Silfra, the changing shape as you move through the hall and cathedral and the shallow and spacious lagoon as you come to the end. The benefit of the snorkel is the opportunity to look up every now and then and bask in the landscape that hangs over you with snowy mountains in the distance and birds singing. It is nothing short of magical.
The thing that stood out about this company was their love of diving and for me that is really important. They were as keen as I am to encourage other people to explore the under water world and for me snorkelling is a real first step into that world, one which many of us know captures you and inspires you to learn to dive to get a closer look. Running snorkel tours here give non divers a real wow factor taster and I hope encourage them to do more and to take the leap into scuba. Chatting about other awesome dive and snorkel sites over a warm hot chocolate post snorkel leave you motivated to do and see more and if that is not the aim of any dive company than I don’t know what is.
This is a snorkel like no other and I would highly recommend it with this operator. If Silfra is not on your dive bucket list, it should be!
You can visit Scuba Iceland on their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
All photography by Radoslaw Krol