Europe,  Travel Guides

Into the depths of Iceland: Diving through some of the clearest water on Earth

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that brings you to a place so far, you’d think you’re on a different planet.

But you’re still on Earth—Iceland to be specific. At Thingvellir National Park lays a fissure, a very deep crack between two tectonic plates that brings divers and snorkelers from all around the world for an intimate view with our planet.

Silfra is its name, a result of earthquakes dating back to 1789. It’s a natural beauty—an underground spring that through its porous makeup fills the crack with some of the clearest glacial water in the world.

It’s cold—temperature is around 2-4°C all year—but visibility is upwards of 100 metres. Yes, you’ll need to wear a dry suit, but don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s warm.

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After a trek to the dive site, you acclimatize to the water and dry suit, and down you go with your group. An Open Water Diver and dry suit certification from PADI will be accepted. Or, you must provide proof of 10 logged dry suit dives within two years. If you’re not a certified diver, you can also opt to snorkel at the surface of the fissure.

Speaking of the fissure, the tectonic plates drift two centimetres each year, so while for now there’s a point in the dive where you can touch the two continents, things might be a little different a decade from now.

As the site evolves, returning divers will notice significant depth and profile changes, as earthquakes over time have triggered boulders and rocks to fall into the fissure. These shifts have made way for new terrain, including caverns and tunnels.

The verdict

All in all, you’ll experience a safe dive if you’re properly trained and follow the instructions of the guide.

It requires a lot of physical activity and hiking back with tanks (in the cold) once you reach the other side, but the breathtaking views of the fissure are absolutely worth the time and effort.

More information: https://www.dive.is/diving-snorkeling-tours/diving-day-tours/silfra-diving-day-tour

Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.

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