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Freediving in Silfra (Iceland)

In July 2017 we explored one more place for extraordinary dives - Silfra, a rift that separated two continents.

 

North-American and Eurasian plates drift 2 cm apart each year and split the whole Iceland in two parts, but only in this place - Thingvellir (Þingvellir) park, the rift is filled with the purest waters coming from Langjokull (Langjökull) glacier. It takes 50 to 100 years for the water to make it to the rift, all this time it's being filtered by volcanic rocks and in the end it becomes incredibly clean and transparent (visibility if more than 100 meters).

 

Local companies offer guided snorkeling tours in dry suits. Our non-freediving friends joined one of the groups and were very satisfied. And we decided to wait until the last group of snorkelers leaves the water - this normally happens by 6 pm.

In order to freedive in Silfra every freediver shall get a permit and pay 1000 krones. Permit is given if one has any sort of freediver's certificate. If anyone of you has a freediving instructor license, the rest may join as students and may not have freediver's certificates. But they still have to obtain a permit and pay the fee.

 

At half past six we were back to the parking, put on our wetsuits and headed to the entrance into the water (~300 m away from the parking). We immediately met a ranger who asked to show the permits, and after checking them he wished us a good evening.

 

What was underwater is too difficult to depict, just take a look at the pictures. It is surely very beautiful and very unusual place, which makes you feel like you hover in the sky. If you are planning a visit to Iceland, make sure to come here, it takes less than an hour to get there by car from Reykjavik.

A little adivce about equipment: 7 mm wetsuit felt chilly after 20-25 minutes (water temperature was +2 C), 9 mm wetsuit was warm till the end, but required a lot of weghts. We tried to borrow weight from Dive.is (they organised a snorkelling tour for our friends), but they told they did not have them, so we had to bring them from home.