That Time I… Went Snorkeling in Iceland

If you had the chance to snorkel between two tectonic plates, would you? What if those tectonic plates were in Iceland and the water was only 35-39°? 

Well, that’s exactly what I did. I was super nervous about it since the water is obviously ridiculously cold and I had only snorkeled in warm water before (think Greece and the Caribbean) so I had no idea what to expect. After seeing the pictures of the crystal clear and shockingly blue water though I knew we had to do it.


Since the water’s so cold, we were only in it for about 20 minutes. We were also outfitted in dry suits that are designed to keep the water out and your body heat trapped inside.

dry suits

If you’re interested in taking the plunge, there are some things you need to know. Underneath your dry suit, you’ll want to wear thermal underwear and a couple pairs of socks. There’s also no real changing area there so it’s best to already have the clothes on that you’ll be snorkeling in. Although the dry suit is designed to keep the water out, you’ll still end up with some water in your suit. And it will be cold. Really cold. Try not to panic though- you’ll feel like there’s a lot more water in there than there really is. You can also dive here if you’re certified. Since we aren’t certified divers, we went the snorkel route.


silfra sign

base camp
The “base camp” was just a small building with two bathrooms and a circle of dive vans

silfra sign 2



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The “entrance” into the water

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The water is super purified- lava is a natural purifier and the water we snorkeled in had traveled across lava fields for over 100 years before ending up in Silfra. So make sure you take a drink- there’s nothing quite like glacier water straight from the source.


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All in all, this was definitely an experience of a lifetime so I can’t recommend it more. Just be prepared to shiver for the rest of the day.



Disclaimer: I brought my GoPro with me… and then realized I didn’t have the case on it that was designed for use underwater right before we went in. Talk about a fail. I opted to not risk bringing it anyways so all photos taken underwater were taken by our guide. I purchased them after our tour so I’d have actual photos of what we got to experience.

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