Diving in Silfra, Iceland
When most people think of Iceland, they don’t necessarily think of diving. The water averages out to be around 2-4 degrees Celsius – which is almost as cold as it gets for diving. That said, because of the cold water temperatures, if you’ve got the steel to do it, it’s an incredible diving experience. You’ll never get water that’s clearer – especially at the Silfra rift.
What’s special about Silfra is that it is where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet and drift apart around 2 cm every year, which makes for an amazing sight to see. Secondly, the water in the area is fed from the glacial fields through the porous volcanic rock around the lagoon and lake. It takes over 70 years for the water to make it to the lake through this very natural filtration system, which makes the water in the lake some of the purest in the world, and for divers – visibility can reach over 120 meters. While you’re down there, take a sip. It’ll likely be the best water you’ve ever tasted.
In around Reykjavik, there are many diving companies that can take you to see the many amazing sites in the area – including Silfra. Of these, I personally recommend Dive.Is. They are knowledgeable, warm, friendly, have great equipment, and for us, made all the difference between a good dive, and an exceptional dive experience. In particular, our dive guide, Aron, was above and beyond helpful and for a first time dry suit diver like me, that was important. For my first dry suit dive to be in such cold temperatures, I had been told back home not to do it as it could turn me off dry suit diving forever. But on the contrary, diving with Dive.Is with an instructor like Aron has sold me on it.
As it turned out the day we went diving, the water temperature was 1 degree Celsius… I think my fingers got a little numb by the end of our dive, but otherwise, I didn’t notice it in the slightest… which is good, because it really can’t get much colder than that.
For more information on Dive.Is and Silfra, visit their website.