While you’re in one of the most extreme places in the world, you might as well do one of the most extreme activities in the world: snorkeling between two continental plates! The Silfra Fissure has attracted people from all over the world and is so beautiful and exotic sounding, that it has convinced millions to take a swim in freezing, to near freezing waters.
These waters are so insanely crystal clear from the hundreds of years it takes to pass through the natural filtration system of volcanic soil. Once submerged in the water you’ll see vibrant hues of blues bouncing off the tectonic plate walls. If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll probably encounter fields of neon green spaghetti, shaped seagrasses growing from the rocks.
This worldly wonder is located off the Golden Circle in Thingvellir National Park. In order to take a dip in these waters, you must book a tour- and do so weeks, to months in advance! This is one of Iceland’s largest attractions and spots fill up fast!
Included in the tour are your life saving dry suits. They’re exactly like a wetsuit, but air tight and do not allow water in. You’ll also receive booties, gloves, flippers, a cap, and snorkel gear, leaving only your cheeks and lip exposed to the ice cold water.
I absolutely hate being cold and was a little weary of adventuring into the ice cold water. Fortunately, the dry suit kept me relatively warm, and my cheeks went numb in a few seconds of being submerged. The suit will suction around you and squeeze the air out through your neck hole. I had a small problem getting all of the air out and had to wiggle my neck for the air to escape. I wish I had a photo of my mom dealing with the air. She looked like the blueberry kid from Willy Wonka floating on top of the water, from the waist up, without any of the air escaping. It was hilarious, until she actually required assistance.
The crevice has a slow current, yet fast enough to allow your body to float on the top of the water without using any effort to swim. You spend about 30 minutes in the water- and about 2 hours getting in and out of the drysuit! Remember there are plenty of things to do in the park, including geysers, mountain lookouts, and ancient volcanic craters. For more info on touring Thingvellir, keep an eye out for my upcoming blog on the park!
- The dive company suggest wearing two pairs of socks, longjohns (or leggings), and a longsleeve shirt under your drysuit
- Bring a fully charged GoPro for underwater videos or pictures. The extreme cold drains battery life exceptionally fast.
- Be the first or last in the water for people-less photos! If you’re the last, just shoot backwards.
- Bring an extra shirt in case your dry suit leaks. I couldn’t tighten my neck strap to the recommended size because of claustrophobia, so a tiny bit of water leaked in down my back…
- Hangout near the guide if you don’t have a waterproof camera. He’s taking his own photos to sell afterwards!
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