Silfra (Þingvellir): Diving Between Continents

By Editor | Travel Guide

Aug 10

Have you ever imagined yourself diving between continents? Or have you ever thought if it’s really possible? In Iceland, it’s a YES. Thanks to the famous diving activity in Silfra. 

About Silfra

Silfra can be found in the Þingvallavatn Lake. It’s part of the famous Þingvellir National Park in Iceland which is a UNESCO heritage site. It’s a famous diving site in Iceland that tourists would often start with this activity before they get into their other Iceland activities.

Considered as a unique phenomenon, Silfra stands above other rifts found in other parts of the world. It’s dubbed as one of the most beautiful and accessible for tourists.

The geology behind the formation of Silfra and the Thingvellir valley can be traced down to the phenomenon called tectonic drift. The occurrence of the drift between the Eurasian and American tectonic plates paved way to what we now called the Silfra.

What Makes Silfra Special

Silfra is just among the many rifts found all over the world. However, it is considered to be among the most interesting and beautiful rifts. One of the factors that make it so special is its water. Silfra is said to have clean water that even divers could enjoy it while exploring the rift underneath. The pristine water in Silfra is attributed to Lángjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland, found in the northern part of the Thingvellir lake.

Diving at Silfra

Diving at Silfra is a one-of-a-kind experience that you shouldn’t miss. Where else could you dive with a visibility that extends to over 100 meters? How about a rift that places you in between two continents at the same time? Nothing else than in Silfra.

The activity starts with a small trek from the parking spot (around 100-meter walk) to the platform. Between these two places is a pool that leads to a tunnel (called as the ‘toilet’). This tunnel is called as such because divers who get into this 16-meter deep tunnel usually feels the rush of water that seems to be flushing them.

The rush of water from the tunnel results from the water pressure as water passes through a narrow hole as it gets into Silfra and eventually into the lake.

What You Can Expect

When you’re down there, expect to pass through the 3 different sections of Silfra: the hall, cathedral, and the lagoon. The first section that you’re going to pass through is the Silfra Hall. This section leads to cave system with a depth that could reach up to 45 meters.

Two hundred meters from the Silfra Hall is the Silfra Cathedral. Divers often find themselves filled with awe as they pass through this section. This section is 100 meters long and the depth of the fissures measures 20 meters.

The last section that you will be passing through is the Silfra Lagoon. It is where you could best check Silfra’s water visibility. Because of the clarity of the water, divers could see each other all the way across. From this section is the exit point for the divers.

There are many travel agencies in Iceland that are offering this kind of activity. You can check them out and see which of their Silfra diving packages suit you well.



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