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Scuba diving in Iceland

Iceland’s diving will have you touching two continental shelves in some of the world’s clearest waters. Enjoy underwater, geothermal chimneys, volcanoes and whale watching.
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Diving in Iceland

Quick facts

Iceland’s primary location – Silfra – can be dived all year. However, some of the island’s diving is only available during the summer months, and extensive dry suit experience is required. Iceland offers an adventurous, outdoor adventure, and less experienced divers can still embrace this country’s unique scuba experience.

Most dive operators will provide dry suit training before diving at Silfra, located in the Thingvellir National Park (1 hour from Reykjavík). It begins in the Big Crack – a fissure which passes between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates – where you can touch two continents. The dive finishes in the Silfra Lagoon, where its water, filtered by the basaltic rock, offers superb visibility (360 feet / 100 meters) across the lagoon. Ducks splash on the surface and little rainbows, caused by the refraction of sunlight, appear on the rocks.

Travel thirty minutes from Reykjavík and you can dive in a geothermal hot spring at Kleifarvatn Lake. On its shore the scent of Sulphur will greet you, and during the dive, if activity is strong enough, you can feel the pressure from air bubbles vibrating through your body.

Advanced divers, time permitting, can travel 400km north to Akureyri, and the dive site of Strýtan with its 180 foot (55 meter) limestone chimneys caused by coagulating minerals. As you pass the chimney’s funnel at 50 feet (15 meters), your buddy’s image will distort like they’ve become a diver shaped mirage, the blurring caused by the 174° F (79° C) water that's expelled from the chimneys. This site offers some of Iceland’s best marine diversity. Expect to see the wolffish’s 747 jumbo jet shaped face with its fang like teeth, orange nudibranchs, and sea anemones – the ocean’s fluffy mushrooms.

With all that Iceland’s diving offers, you’ll soon forget about your cold fingers.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

Unlike many of the world’s diving destinations, Iceland’s dive sites aren’t necessarily about marine life, but more about the unique experiences that Iceland’s waters can offer.

However, Silfra’s crystal waters have boulders covered in algae which float above the rock’s surface like an intricate, neon green spider’s web blowing in a breeze. Amongst the chimneys of Strýtan you will find pollock, Atlantic cod, starry ray nestling under the seabed’s sand, and orange lumpsuckers with their almost frightened expression.

Your dive log may not be full, but you won’t be disappointed either.

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