Snorkelling in Thingvellir National Park

Snorkelling between two tectonic plates in the world’s clearest water

It sounds like something they’d do in an action movie, right? UNESCO world heritage site Thingvellir National Park is the part of Iceland where the Euroasian and the North American tectonic plates meet. But they’re not so much meeting now as they are drifting apart from one another.

The tectonic plates are drifting apart two centimetres each year, causing a fissure known as the Silfra. Melting glacial water from Langjökull flows down, filling the Silfra with a cold and incredibly clear water. In fact, it’s some of the clearest water on Earth!

Thingvellir National Park

The Silfra is considered one of the world’s best dive sites but if you’re like me and not really into diving, or you want to save a couple of dollars, snorkelling is the next best thing.

The fissure is more than 100 metres long and filled with water that is between 2-4°C all year round. Don’t worry about the cold though, you’ll be dressed in so many layers you won’t even get wet! You’ll wear your clothes and socks, a thick dry suit, a wet suit, gloves, flippers, and of course, goggles. The only part of your body exposed to the water are your lips which will be numb within a minute.

Once the tingling sensation has left your lips, you’ll float along the current between the two plates in what is a once in a lifetime experience. When you reach the end of the fissure, you’ll be given time to swim around a small lagoon where you can get up close to the rock-face of the plates.

Words can’t describe the clarity of the glacial water – it’s something you have to experience for yourself!

Do you have what it takes to brave the fissure? Let me know in the comments below! 


We booked our snorkelling tour with Extreme Iceland.

Tour: Snorkelling in Silfra 
19 990 ISK per person (including transfers)
When: Daily, all year round
Length: 4-5 hours including transfers from Reykjavik


One thought on “Snorkelling in Thingvellir National Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s