Spot

Silfra


Silfra is a crack between the American and the Eurasian continents, where the two massive tectonic plates are slowly drifting apart. It provides a unique and rugged underwater landscape, made of vibrant rocks cliffs and incredible blue appearances. It is the place where you will find some of the clearest water in the world, the fissure, filled with pure glacier water, offering an underwater visibility over 100 meters. Forget about the cold: snorkeling in Silfra is one of the most attractive and amazing underwater experience on Earth.
How to get there?

Silfra fissure is located in Thingvellir National Park, near the peninsula of Reykjanes and the Hengill volcanic area. It is about a 1-hour drive from Reykjavik (40mi/60km) by car. Due to National Park regulations, snorkeling in Silfra is only possible with a local guide. Snorkeling tour prices are around ISK 20 to 24 000 per person ($170 to 200), including Thingvellir National Park Silfra entrance fee (ISK 1000pp.) and pick-up service in Reykjavik (optional). Snorkeling in Silfra is possible all year round, but most companies offer tours only from May through September.

Water entrance

The water in Silfra is ice-cold, at a constant 2-4°C (35-39°F) year round. At this temperature, the human body risks hypothermia, so snorkeling or diving in Iceland requires a specialized gear, including thermal undersuits and full-body drysuits. This equipment is included in all snorkeling tours to Silfra. Once outfitted, you will easily enter the water from a metallic ladder set on the fissure shore.

Aerial view

Exploration

Exploration of Silfra consists in snorkeling along its narrow blue canyons. The standard circuit is approximately 300 meters long, starting next to the road (see map above), and lasts 30 to 40 minutes.

Silfra is made of 4 main parts: the Big Crack (the narrowest section, where you can touch at the same time North American and Eurasian continents), Silfra Hall, the deep Silfra Cathedral, lined with “columns”, and the shallower and crystal-clear Silfra Lagoon.

snorkeling silfra iceland
Snorkeler exploring the Silfra fissure

Silfra is a spectacular underwater wonderland. There are no fish, but the underwater landscape is unique, filled with caves, fissures and crevices. The rocks, the pure water and the emerald algae carpets offers a colorful and amazing landscape, with remarkable shades of blue, green and yellow.

Filled with pure glacier water, visibility extends over 100 (and even 120) meters in most parts of the canyon, making Silfra the diving and snorkeling site with the clearest water in the world. Underwater photographers will particularly enjoy the attractive light and shadow effects.

Restaurants and accommodation

The National Park Café, a 2 miles-drive from Silfra, serves sandwiches and soups. Tour organizers will offer you hot drinks after your snorkeling session.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Level of difficulty
    Expert
  • Protected area
  • Maximum depth
    206ft/63m (diving not allowed below 60ft/18m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from ladders
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    High
  • Access costs
    Tour price (from ISK 17,000)
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, 2 miles from the spot

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

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