Snorkeling in Iceland? It is true that « the land of ice and fire » is an unusual snorkeling destination. But did you know that Iceland hosts some of the most unique underwater sites, which are unlike any others in the world? With its freshwater fissures filled with pure glacier water, its rivers warmed by geothermic activity, and its coastal ecosystems, Iceland is a great and singular diving and snorkeling destination. Sure, it's cold water, but the amazing underwater landscapes, lights and colors will make you quickly forget this "detail".

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Iceland is famous worldwide for snorkeling and diving in fissures, these deep cracks between the North American and Eurasian continents resulting of tectonic movements. Filled with amazingly clear water, it creates unique and spectacular underwater landscapes. The Silfra fissure, which is often rated as one of the Top 10 dive site in the world is Iceland’s most popular snorkeling spot, and is not to be missed if you are visiting the country. Davidsgja ad Nesgja, less known, and less crowded, are also great options.

snorkeling iceland
Free diver in Silfra, view of Reykjavik and Silfra fissure

Even if a few spots only are suitable for snorkeling in Iceland, some diving clubs offers tours in the geothermal chimney of Strytan, the underwater hot springs of Lake Kleifarvatn and the warm river Litlaa.
When to go to Iceland?

Iceland has a cold climate, with cool summers and no dry season, and a very strong variability. June, July and September are the warmest months, with an average temperature of 13°C/55°F, and January is the coldest month with an average of 1°C/33°F. From the end of November to January, the winter darkness limits outdoor activities, and the temperatures can be as low as -4°F/-20°C. For these reasons, Iceland has a concentrated tourist season, peaking from mid-June through August.

Cold-water snorkeling (for example in Silfra, with a constant water temperature around 2 to 4°C) is challenging and requires a specialized gear, including thermal underwear and full-body drysuits.

Where to spot them?