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Snorkeling in Iceland
Iceland’s majesty does not just exist at surface level. For explorers willing to brace the cold, this country boasts a number of hidden underwater treasures, some of which are heralded among the best snorkeling and dive sites in the world.
But snorkeling in Iceland is quite unlike what most world travellers are used to. Swap out the beach shorts for a drysuit, trade-in tropical fish for dark and mysterious canyons, and lower the temperature dramatically, and you’ve got yourself a closer impression.
Regardless of the differences, snorkeling in Iceland is one of the most exhilarating, unexpected and unique activities available to visitors. How often, after all, does one go snorkeling amidst the snow?
Silfra Fissure, while heralded as Iceland’s premier snorkeling site, is but one of many glacial rifts that exist within Þingvellir National Park. As the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates continue to separate little by little each year, the continental no man’s land between them bears the brunt of the tension, often forming deep cracks and ravines that are submerged by glacial water.
One day in the distant future, these plates will have split apart so much that the adjacent lake, Þingvallavatn, will come to flood the whole national park.
Silfra Fissure has a slight current, meaning there is little need to swim (though swimming ability is a prerequisite). As your drysuit keeps you buoyant in the water, you can merely float the gauntlet, breathing in slowly as your eyes fully take in this subaquatic paradise. With near 100 metres visibility, you’ll have a captivating bird’s eye view over the fissure, its rock laden bottom, domineering canyon walls and luminescent green algae.
As previously mentioned, Silfra Fissure is lacking in fish-life (though young and smaller fish are known to treat the ravine as a nursery), but more than trades off for its unbelievable aesthetic.