We have explored Icelandic diving in 2013, but since then many more opportunities and dive sites have appeared.
Site 1: Silfra Crack
GPS: 64°15.315' N 21°07.012 W
Depth: 20m (although some sections are deeper, especially within the cave system which goes to 65m)
Currents: Tide independent
Type of bottom: Rocks
Interests: Crack between two continental plates; rock formations; clear waters
Water Temperature: 2-4°C all year round
Visibility: up to 90m
Description: Iceland's most iconic dive site in the rift between the Eurasian and American continental tectonic plates. A relatively easy dive: shallow, with amazing visibility and no currents just a bit on the cold side. The rock formations and the effects of the light refracting in this crystal clear water are just stunning. When we dived it, it was gray and raining on the surface but underwater there was still a lot of light. As Siflra is inside the national park you must get a local guide or permission from the park to dive here. Definitely worth it. Not too far away there is another great dive site known as David's Crack at Hallvik in Thingvellir Lake. Max depth for this site is 27m. Unfortunately we didn't manage to dive it as according to our guide if the surface conditions are not great the visibility is drammatically reduced and the 20 minute hike in full dive gear is not worth it. We still think that he was just lazy, but I guess if you are used to 90m visibility as a standard it may be off-puting.
Site 2: Geothermal Chimneys
GPS: 65°51.055' N 18°11.583' W
Type of bottom: Rocks
Interests: Hydrothermal chimneys
Water Temperature: 2-8°C
Description: Located within a fjord with snow capped mountains lie a series of geothermal cones which make for some great dives. Hot springs on the sea floor release about 100 l/sec of fresh water at about 75°C and a pH of 10. It has been doing so for the past 11,000 years and the dissolved minerals in the hot fresh water precipitate as they come into contact with the cold sea water. Over time the accumulation of these minerals has created limestone cones.
As both chimneys, Strytan and Arnarnesstrytan, are protected underwater areas you must dive them either with a guide or you need to get permission from Erlendur Bogason, who discovered them and runs the local dive center. As much as I usually hate diving with a guide, I strongly recommend you to dive these with Erlendurn. He is very keen to share his knowledge on the chimneys so its a great opportunity to learn about them with the world expert! The most stunning of these limestone chimneys is known as Strytan. It stands 55m proud, so the top lies just 15m under the water surface. There are other smaller chimneys in the area but these lie relatively deep at the seabed at 70m. Due to upward currents, this dive is not recomended for novices.
An easier dive on thermal vents is Arnarnesstrytus which has a cluster of small cones rich in marine life, including a friendly wolf fish called Stephanie. During this ive Erelndur usually collects some of the hot water from the springs into a small thermos. After the dive he uses it to prepare amazing hot chocolate (although with a bit of sulfury after taste).
Dive Centers: The number of dive centers in Iceland is growing constantly. We have contacted the following:
Land transport in Iceland: We rented a 4x4 from SADcars which was the cheapest car hire company we could find. Make sure you get information on the road condtions before heading of, especially if you plan taking the "F-roads" as these may be closed.
This information can be obtained either online on this website or by calling +3541778 (or +3545221100).
Accomodation: We stayed in the following hostels:
Reykjavik: Reykjavik City, Sundlaugavegur 34, Phone: (+354) 553-8110, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org