Silfra Snorkeling Tour in Iceland: What to Expect + Best Tour

This site uses affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Have you ever thought about snorkeling in Iceland?

This post details everything you need to know about snorkeling in Silfra, including FAQs, how to book the best Silfra snorkeling tour, what to expect, and why you should plan a trip to do it!

Are you planning your trip to Iceland last minute?

If youʻre booking your trip to Iceland last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

🇮🇸  Popular tours and activities in Iceland:

  1. Snorkeling in Silfra (reviewed below – left me speechless!)
  2. Golden Circle day trip from Reykjavik (includes Kerid Crater)
  3. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Full-Day Trip (dinner in Vik)

🛌  Top Places to stay in Iceland:

  1. Sand Hotel (Reykjavik boutique hotel on Laugavegur)
  2. Hotel Kria (best hotel in Vik – hands down!)
  3. Center Hotels Arnarhvoll (stylish with Reykjavik harbor views)

✈️  Want to get from the airport to Reykjavik hassle-free? Find the best airport transfer option here!

🚗  Looking for the best way to get around Iceland? Click here to check rental car rates for Iceland!

I recently partnered with Troll Expeditions and Manawa to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime activity when I was in Iceland, and I am still raving about how unique it is today!

This guide recaps my experience snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, along with some photos of my time doing it! I did this solo since Megan was too claustrophobic to put the suit on.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-16
Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland

Please let us know if you have any additional questions before booking this tour (which can be done year-round, regardless of the weather)!

Let me know if you’ve taken a Silfra snorkeling tour and how your experience went (as well as some tips for others).

📝 UPDATED FOR 2024: I took this tour at the end of 2021, but I have given the guide an update to make sure it is relevant and useful in 2024. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

What is the Silfra Fissure anyway?

In 1789, an earthquake happened in the Thingvellir area, and, as a result, several fissures opened underground with glacial meltwater from the Langjökull glacier.

A fascinating fact is that the water is filtered through lava rocks for 30–100 years before reaching the actual fissure, making it some of the cleanest water on Earth! The guides will even advise you to drink it when you’re snorkeling!

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-7
Where you enter the water in Silfra

You’ll find the Silfra fissure located inside Þingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in Þingvallavatn Lake between two of the Earth’s tectonic plates.

These plates make up the North American and Eurasian continents, and this is the only place in the world where you can swim between them, touching both at the same time!

CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY: Silfra snorkeling tour

Because of the water’s purity and clarity, you can see 320 feet (100 meters) below you, offering a perspective and view that is pretty much unlike any other one in the world.

How to Book this Silfra Snorkeling Tour (and Why You Should!)

Honestly, nowhere else in the world can you snorkel between two continents, making this the only place on Earth where you can do this activity! So, I recommend it for that and because it was fun.

The best way to book this tour is to do it online well before your trip to Iceland. It is one of the most popular tours in the country, and it is likely to sell out!

Just be sure to take your voucher to the tour’s meeting point afterward, and everything is done and ready to go!

My Experience on this Silfra Snorkeling Tour

This was one of the most memorable and exciting tours that I did in Iceland, and to be honest, I was a bit worried about whether or not I’d enjoy it due to the cold conditions outside, but I quickly forgot about them once the tour started!

Practical Information

The best way to book this tour is to do it online beforehand. They fill up quickly and have huge potential to sell out! Be sure to bring your e-ticket with you to the tour meeting point, and they will get you checked in right away!

The tour is in English, and you will have a certified guide. My guide was from Spain, and his colleagues were from Italy, so multiple languages were able to be accommodated, at least for the safety briefing.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-6
Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland – my instructor

The entire tour lasted about 3 hours, but only 45 minutes of that were spent in the water! Do not be late!

Where is Silfra located?

Silfra is located inside the Golden Circle in Thingvellir National Park. It is located around one hour from Reykjavik.

Please do note that while it is close to Reykjavik, it is essential to check weather conditions beforehand to ensure you leave with enough time (the roads are high quality and good; just be prepared for Iceland’s ever-changing weather conditions).

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-3
Good information to know!

Parking at Silfra

You will find a parking lot near the meeting point right off of the P5 at Thingvellir.

You will need to go past the meeting point just a bit, park in the national park area, and then backtrack on foot to the area where you will see all of Silfra’s snorkeling tour outfitters.

Who can do this Silfra snorkeling tour?

You need to be 12 years of age or older to take the tour. If you are older than 60, then medical waivers and a doctor’s statement are required.

In addition, you must be between 4’11 and 6’6” (150 cm and 200 cm) in height and between 99 and 265 lbs (45 and 120 kg) to be permitted to do the activity.

If you are pregnant, physically unfit, claustrophobic, or inebriated, you are not permitted to do the tour.

CHECK RATES HERE: Silfra snorkeling tour

In addition, if you have piercings that you cannot remove (including ear piercings) that are not flat or studs, you cannot do the tour if you cannot remove them, as they may puncture the suit.

As the tour description states, you will receive a Snorkeling in Silfra Medical Statement Form that you need to get familiar with, print, and bring with you with all of the information filled out.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-5
The drysuits and changing area

We were unable to do this, so they had one on the spot for us to fill out. However, be aware that if you check any of the boxes on it, you may not be permitted to go on the tour due to safety and legal obligations.

After the quick examination and signing of the paper, the PADI Divemaster will find your size in a drysuit, help you put it on, and get you ready for the safety briefing that will soon follow.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-11
The end of the journey – grateful the suits kept us dry

What should you bring with you?

You will see some of our recommendations below for what to bring with you. Please keep in mind that they will provide all of the stuff for the actual snorkeling adventure in Silfra!

They will also provide a dry bag to put your belongings in (which will not see the water; it will stay around the changing area and meeting points).

  • Thick socks
  • Towel
  • Long underwear
  • Change of clothes
  • Contact lenses if you wear glasses

When you are snorkeling, you will need to wear very thin yet warm clothes underneath the dry suit. Thick sweaters are not a good option, as they will potentially allow water to seep into the suit.

I recommend wearing a layer of thin wool underneath.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-9
At the end of the Iceland snorkeling experience!

Preparing for the Tour 

There is nothing you need to do before the tour except show up sober and ready to go! There are tours in the morning and afternoon, so be prepared to do some driving in the dark if you’re taking it during the winter months.

Before you go out to snorkel in Silfra, you will need to go to the toilet. They have them on-site.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-15
Along the snorkel adventure

Snorkeling in Silfra: FAQ, Tips, and More

Even though you are going to snorkel in one of the rarest places in the world, it can still be uncomfortable physically and mentally, so there are things you need to know before planning your snorkeling experience in Silfra.

Best Silfra snorkeling tours (are definitely with Troll Expeditions!)
The best Silfra snorkeling tours are definitely with Troll Expeditions!

To be honest, I was contemplating in my mind many aspects of this activity, like the cold water, extremely tight gear, and other things, but the briefing made me feel comfortable and prepared to hop into the water.

But here are some of your questions answered about a Silfra snorkeling experience.

Is snorkeling in Iceland cold?

The water that flows from the glacier never freezes in Silfra, and the temperature of the water fluctuates between 35°F and 39°F (2°C and 4°C) year-round. So yes, the water in Silfra is cold.

And it can be even colder when the outside temperature is below freezing, like when I went. But the experience was completely worthwhile, and the suit kept me dry.

BOOK HERE: Silfra snorkeling tour

When you put on the suit, you will feel like you’re going to get wet, and even when you step into the water, it can still give off that feeling. However, you will stay dry.

The only part of your body that will be exposed to the water and get wet is your face. The gloves and sleeves will get a little wet, too.

Can you snorkel in Silfra in the winter?

Absolutely yes! I did my Silfra snorkeling in November and was informed that there was no difference in the water temperature throughout the year.

And the water never freezes. However, the outside temperature is cold! So, be prepared for that! During the experience, your face will be cold, but the rest of your body won’t be too bad.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-2
Snorkeling in Silfra in winter

However, if the air is cold outside, you will need to bring some really warm stuff for the briefings before the activity (they will put you into the drysuit quickly though), and once you change, you will have hot chocolate and a moment to gather yourself before leaving Thingvellir National Park.

Does the drysuit help you float?

When snorkeling in Silfra, you will be provided a waterproof drysuit that will not only protect you from getting wet, but will also help you float! You will stay on the surface of the water like a bubble as you move down the fissure.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-12
During the Silfra snorkeling experience

Do I need to be able to swim to snorkel in Silfra?

Swimming is always a useful skill, but to be honest, you don’t need to know how to swim to do this fun activity. Just know to prepare yourself to roll around with your legs and hands. The tour guide will brief you in advance. All you have to do is let yourself relax, and the drysuit will do its job.

You will start to float and if you want to look down at what is below you, just put your face in the water and observe the beauty below while you kick your arms and legs a bit to move along the water.

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-10
My group looking into the Silfra waters

If you are feeling tired or uncomfortable, your safe position is to roll over and lay on your back on the surface of the water. This can all be done without being a swimmer (or having swimming skills at all).

💥 INSIDER TIP: You will genuinely want to lower your face into the water and breathe from the snorkel tube most of the time so that you don’t miss any of the beauty along the way—it is magical!

What is the best way to take photos while snorkeling?

Of course, you can bring your own GoPro with you (we opted to leave ours in the car), but the tour guide will be taking photos of you and the other people on the tour throughout it.

He or she will send you the GoPro photos via email if you want them. We received them later in the evening, and they were free for us to use, even in this blog post!

Snorkeling in Silfra Iceland-1
A GoPro photo I received afterward (+ many including me)

Have you ever been snorkeling in Iceland? Let us know about your adventures snorkeling in Silfra in the comments! Thanks!

More Iceland Travel Guides

Pin this Snorkeling in Silfra Guide

Are you looking for the best Silfra snorkeling tours for your Iceland trip? These are your snorkeling in Silfra questions answered, including how to book it! | Snorkeling in Iceland | Iceland snorkeling | Thingvellir snorkeling | Snorkeling in Thingvellir National Park | Snorkeling in Silfra fissure | Snorkeling tours in Silfra | Snorkeling tours in Iceland | Best water activities in Iceland | Things to do in Thingvellir National Park | Iceland in winter tour | Iceland in summer tours


2 thoughts on “Silfra Snorkeling Tour in Iceland: What to Expect + Best Tour

  1. Katie says:

    Honestly reading this made me feel a thousand times better about doing this tour. I have it booked in a few days and was feeling a bit nervous, but I feel so much better after reading your guide! Thank you ^_^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *