Episode 4: Where Continents Collide. Diving The Silfra Fissure.

“It’s listed, consistently in the top five dives in the world,” according to Murray Johnson, an avid world traveler and certified scuba diver. Silfra Fissure is located on the Northern tip of Thingvellir Lake, which is Iceland’s largest body of water. This Unesco World Heritage Site is only a 35-minute drive from Reykjavik. What's most noteworthy about this site is that Divers and Snorkelers can swim in between this continental divide, which marks the point where two massive tectonic plates are diverging in the middle of Iceland. Here are some quick facts, tips, and advice about this unique place:

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Water in Thingvellir Lake provides much of the drinking water for the surrounding Icelandic towns and cities. The lake is slowly filled with melting glacier water that travels underground through lava rock for 30 to 100 years.

“It’s essentially the largest Brita Filter in the world,” says Johnson. “The visibility in there is unstoppable. Over 100 meters you can see; it’s crystal clear, crystal clear.”

Silfra Fissure's clear water lets divers to see up to 100 meters away. So don't forget to fill up your canteen or water bottle after your visit.

The Water is Cold: 36° F

Water temperature in Thingvellir Lake hovers just above freezing. So diving and snorkeling in the Silfra Fissure requires a dry suit.

“They suit you all up where you have a seal across your neck and your hands,” travel enthusiast, Allyssa Moreau explains. “So all that ever gets wet is your neck, face, and hands; and it’s extremely cold."

It Separates Gigantic Continental Plates.

The fissure is essentially a scar in the Earth, where the Eurasian and the North American Continental Plates are diverging.

Moreau, recalled the exact moment her scuba guide led her in between the continents, “I just remember my stomach dropping through my toes… how small can you get? A lot of things changed right there, because that was probably the craziest thing I have ever experienced, to be so, so, so tiny in such a big spot.”

“At one point when you’re diving you can touch both continental plates,” Johnson said, also adding that, “They’re splitting apart about 2 cm per year."

Each year the Silfra Fissure is getting wider and wider as the two continents spread further apart.

I actually almost had to sprawl out to touch them because it was pretty far apart,” Moreau said. “I could do like one leg and one arm but I couldn’t do with both arms.”

 

Don’t Miss Your Chance To Dive

Here's a list of two Dive Centers in Iceland that offer tours through the Silfra Fissure:

 

"What an awesome experience! Our guide Rob, was great and the water wasn't as cold as I thought it would be." -foxgirl592, Trip Advisor reviewer

Dive.is is also known as the Sport Diving School of Iceland, this 5 Star PADI Dive Center was founded by Tómas J. Knútsson in 1997. Besides providing tours through the Silfra Fissure, they offer a variety of scuba diving courses. They provide certification courses perfect for first timers, as well as more advanced ones like their PADI Rescue Diver Course.Here are some of their Diving and Snorkel tour prices* in the Silfra Fissure:

  • Snorkeling: 17,990 ISK -  $157 US Dollars

  • Diving: 44,990 ISK  -  $393 US Dollars

  • Midnight Sun Dive: 44,990 ISK  -  $393 US Dollars

  • Ten Day, Five Day, and Three Day diving tours: check www.dive.is for pricing

 

"They had a good sense of humor and were very professional. Best dive guides ever! Thank you for an amazing experience." -Sophie C., Trip Advisor reviewer

Another company based out of Reykjavík, Dive Silfra was founded in 2012 as a division of Arctic Adventures. Dive Silfra has a strong sense of preserving the Icelandic environment and landscape which you can read more about by clicking here.

They offer scuba and snorkel day tours in the Silfra Fissure, as well as private diving tours. Here are their current Silfra Fissure diving and snorkeling tour prices:

  • Snorkeling: 17,990 ISK  -  $157 US Dollars

  • Diving: 44,990 ISK  -  $393 US Dollars

*Prices are subject to change and include dry suit rental and park entrance fee. US Dollars are exchange rate estimates.


Check out these Rental Van Options

Go Campers in Iceland has a variety of vehicles to fit your needs:

 
 

These are just a few of their many van rental options. Each Go Camper Van  comes supplied with a small stove, pots and pans, and all dinnerware needed to prepare simple meals. Mattress and pillows are included as well. They even offer 24/7 roadside assistance in case you're stranded. All you need is a valid credit card and an ID to book yours. Check out www.gocampers.is for more.

Last but not least, check out his amazing video:

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