Snorkeling in Iceland is unique in many ways. The water is both clearer and colder than in most other places. It is the only place in the world where you can enjoy over 100 meters visibility while floating through the purest drinkable fresh water in the world. As if this was not enough, you will also get to experience what its like to be swimming directly in between two tectonic plates in the middle of a true Iceleandic lavafield!
Snorkelers swimming through the Silfra Lagoon
What is snorkeling?
Snorkeling is basically swimming or floating on the water´s surface, equipped with a snorkeling mask for excellent underwater vision and a snorkel to breath from while keeping your face in the water. You will also be wearing powerful fins to enable you to swim through the water with little effort. When snorkeling in Iceland you will also need insulation from the cold water in form of a dry suit with attached boots, a hood and a pair of gloves. The snorkeling mask will cover most of your face, and only your lips and a small part of the face will be in direct contact with the water.
Snorkeler ready to start the adventure
As clear as it gets
The top snorkeling site here in Iceland is the world famous Silfra fissure, in Thingvellir national park. Here you will be snorkling through crystal clear fresh water, supplied one of the largest glaciers in Europe – Langjökull. In the summer time when the glacier melts a little bit, the melt water sinks underground into the lavafield underneath. Here the water starts its 50 year long journey towards its destination -the Silfra fissure. The glacial water travels from Langjökull at a speed of 1 meters per year. During this process the malt water gets filtered through the Icelandic lava rocks, slowly turning it into the clearest water in the world.
Floating along the Silfra Hall
Cold is just a state of mind
The glacier Langjökull supplies the Silfra fissure with a constant flow of new fresh water. This keeps the water temperature at a steady 2-4 degrees C/ 35-37 degrees F all year round. We can all agree that this is a refreshing temperature, and it requires some good quality cold water snorkling equipment. A wonderfully warm one piece undersuit is provided to keep you warm, and on top of that a top quality neoprene dry suit to keep you body dry. You will also be given a neoprene hood and a pair of gloves. These are not waterproof which means that hands and head gets a bit wet during the snorkeling. If you ever start worrying about the temperature, just remember our mantra -Cold is just a state of mind!
Enjoying the view in the Silfra Cathedral
Snorkeling all year round
Snorkeling in the winter?? Yes, of course! Snorkeling in Iceland can be enjoyed all year round. It is just as popular in the winter as during the summer. The water stays at the same refreshing temperature all year and we provide the same equipment during all seasons. The air will be colder in the winter and milder in the summer, but the actual snorkling experience is very similar during the different seasons. In the summer there are more life in the water, with beautiful bright green algaes growing along the sides of the fissure, and you might get to see a Brown Trout or an Arctic Char swimming past. In the winter you will instead be surrounded by a winter wonderland and frosty icicles as you are floating along.
Snorkelers about to enter the Silfra Hall