Snorkeling between tectonic plates

“What are you crazy?” “Why would you want to snorkel in the freezing cold water?” “Really, why?” “Are you mad?” These are the few questions I was asked by my family and friends.

Snorkeling between the tectonic plates was never part of my Iceland itinerary. During my northern lights tour in Norway, I met few fellow Indian travelers in a petrol bunk and one of them suggested me to do the diving in Iceland. Even though I could not do the diving as the minimum requirement for scuba diving is to have a diving certificate (No, I am not a certified diver – that would definitely be a part of my 2017 yearly resolutions).

The company ‘Dive Silfra‘ organizes snorkeling and the scuba diving tours. The snorkeling costed me about 17.990 ISK which is approximately 170 USD. The snorkeling tour is in Silfra fissure in Thingvellir (Þingvellir) national park.

Silfra is a rift formed in the tectonic plates between North American and Eurasian plates. Snorkeling in Silfra is a unique experience because of the clear crystal waters. The rift offers exceptional visibility of 70 to 80 meters.

On the day of the dive, I was picked up from my hotel in Reykjavik’s city center. It was raining constantly and the weather was freezing. There were about 8 of us in for the snorkeling tour. We were all driven to the national park, where we met the staff of Drive Silfra. The temperature of the water was 2 degrees and I was told that it was the perfect weather for snorkeling.

On arrival, the staff helped us put on the dry suits and briefed us with all the safety precautions.

We were then escorted to the snorkeling starting point, which is about 100 meters from the parking lot.

The snorkeling was between four main parts of Silfra. The initial point was through the narrowest portion – Big Crack, the Silfra then widens into Silfra Hall. The colors of the rocks and the visibility of water was spectacular. The next part is Silfra Cathedral, which has the depth of 23 meters. The snorkeling tour finishes at the Silfra Lagoon.

Even though there is absolutely no marine life, the snorkeling in Silfra is special because of the tectonic plates and the clear visibility of water. It was an experience to remember and I am glad to have met those fellow Indians who suggested me to do this when in Iceland. I would definitely recommend this as one of the must to-dos in Iceland.

© 2016 Raksha Nagaraj All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, or re-transmission, in whole, or  in part, or in any manner, without prior written consent of the author, is in violation of the copyright law.




11 comments on “Snorkeling between tectonic plates”
  1. Sarah Kim says:

    Wow this sounds amazing. Actually when I first read the title, I first asked “What?? Are you crazy?” like your family and friends haha But what an experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! Yes it was indeed amazing. And haha I am sure they were the apt questions.


  2. Svet Dimitrov says:

    Oh, my Goodness! This sounds like a dare-devil piece of experience, but I am so in love with Icelandic people for being so creative.

    I would not have asked you these questions but rather encouraged you to do it if you had been doubting it. And it seems like it was one hell of experience!

    Cheers to ice snorkelling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Svetoslav! Yes it was a great experience and the clarity of water was amazing

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tara says:

    Now that’s an experience! You’re brave to head out into such cold water, but it sure is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tara. Yes it was a wonderful experience.


  4. Nisha says:

    That would have been an awesome experience. Now I know what else to do in Iceland besides the usual dos. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nisha! Yes Iceland is beautiful and you should try to tick that off when you can.


  5. mappingmegan says:

    I agree that this would be an incredible experience even though there’s no marine life – we didn’t have the chance to do it while in Iceland last year and am kicking myself because it sounds amazing!! We’re hoping to get back to Iceland though so it will definitely be on the itinerary for next time. Glad you had such a wonderful time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Megan! Yes It was and hope you do the snorkelling next time you go there. And thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


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