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Iceland Adventure, Day Three

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Day three in Iceland saw us back on the road after another good night's sleep, and we headed out with Arctic Adventures to Thingvellir National Park to dive that most-iconic of Icelandic dive sites – Silfra Rift.

Silfra is a rift, or fissure, between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates that was created back in 1789 by earthquakes as the plates moved slowly apart. Incredibly, the tectonic plates are still drifting apart at the rate of some 2cm per year.

Update: Iceland Adventure, Day Four

Silfra was among a number of rifts that were created at this time, but it is the only one which tapped into a spring carrying glacial melt-water from the Langjokull glacier. It is thought the water takes some 20-30 years to make its way from the glacier through the lava rock into the spring that runs into Silfra, meaning the water you dive in is some of the purest, cleanest mineral water on the planet – carefully taking your reg out to have a sip is incredibly refreshing! It is also unbelievably clear – the vis is well over 100 metres, it is like being topside.

Silfra is incredibly clear
Silfra is incredibly clear

However, coming from the glacier and then spending decades underground does mean that the water is cold – expect 2-4 degrees C (we got 3 degrees C on our dive).

Silfra Rift is definitely a bucket list dive – even if you are not a cold-water diver, it is worth getting your drysuit cert purely to log this one dive. It is simply breath-taking, both from the incredible vis – and from the cold water!

The scenery enroute to Akureyri is suitably stunning
The scenery enroute to Akureyri is suitably stunning

Once we'd de-kitted, loaded up the Toyota – this time with a trailer for extra cylinders for our next diving location – and warmed up, we got back on the ring road heading north for several hours round to Akureyri, the second-largest city in Iceland, passing more stunning scenery enroute.

Volcano alongside the ring road
Volcano alongside the ring road

Tomorrow we are heading out off the coast for a boat dive on the Strytan hydrothermal chimneys.

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. 30-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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