“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.
Snorkelling between the tectonic plates was never part of my Iceland itinerary. During my northern lights tour in Norway, I met few fellow Indian travellers 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 snorkelling and the scuba diving tours. The snorkelling costed me about ISK 17.990 which is approximately USD 170. The snorkelling 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. Snorkelling 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 centre. It was raining constantly and the weather was freezing. There were about 8 of us in for the snorkelling 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 snorkelling.
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 snorkelling starting point, which is about 100 meters from the parking lot.
The snorkelling 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 colours of the rocks and the visibility of water was spectacular. The next part is Silfra Cathedral, which has the depth of 23 meters. The snorkelling tour finishes at the Silfra Lagoon.
Even though there is absolutely no marine life, the snorkelling 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.