Geothermal Chimneys & Silfra Fissure Diving


This trip is for experienced divers only, since the maximum depth is around 30 meters (100 feet).  On this trip you will visit two of Iceland's best dives sites, the Silfra fissure in Thingvellir National Park and the Strýtan geothermal chimney in Akureyri.

After being picked up from your accommodation in Reykjavik, you will be driven to the National Park Þingvellir for an extended dive in Davíðsgjá, a spectacular lava ravine. Afterwards you will head North to Akureyri.

On your second day you will visit the majestic Strýtan. The Strýtur are giant submarine geothermal silica cones that rise from the 70 metre deep seafloor in Eyjafjörður.  It's a fascinating dive site and of great interest to divers and scientists alike.  The Strytan chimneys are a completely unique diving wonder that has only recently been discovered and the only one we know of in the world. This dive requires outstanding buoyancy control and reasonable physical fitness.

It was 1997 when Erlendur Bogason and his friend Árni Halldósson, captain on the whale watching boat Níels Jónsson found the 55 meter high cone they named Strýtan. The top of the cone measures metres under the surface and it is estimated that around 100 litres of 75°C hot water per second flows out of the cone and into the sea.

Strýtan started forming towards the end of last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. The cones are made from magnesium-silicate from the sea, similar ones of which are usually only found between 2,000 and 6,000 metres or deeper.

On the trip you will also visit the newly discovered chimney's which are a group of smaller chimney´s where different marine life can be found and one of the places we always see the wolfish.  The little Strýtan chimney may be smaller than its counterpart across the fjord, but it is no less interesting. If anything, many divers, given the option, will prefer re-visiting the smaller of the two chimneys. The reason for that is the abundance of exciting and varied marine life found around the 10m tall cone-shaped stack of pink algae covered rocks and mineral deposits. Ranging from the minuscule skeleton shrimp to the menacing, yet friendly wolf fish; nesting lumpsuckers, colourful scorpionfish, inquisitive cod - not to mention nudibranchs and crustaceans of all stripes.  Furthermore, with the bottom at 20-25m, this site is the shallower and less challenging of the two.

On the third day will drive to the beautiful Nesgjá lava fissure for an unforgettable fresh water dive in a secluded location. Often referred to as ´Silfra´s counterpart´, this crystal clear glacial melt water-filled crevasse is part of the same fault line as Silfra, separating the North-American continental shelf from the Eurasian one. After your dive, you will snorkel in a geothermally heated river where reasonably sized trout are often spotted up close, along with the mysterious ´dancing sands´.  You may even wish to do this in just your swim suit!  Today you will visit one of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls Goðafoss (The Waterfall of the Gods) and the charming town of Húsavík.

On the fourth day you will head to Eyjafjörður fjord for a dive in either The French Gardens or The Wall, both fascinating geological structures, playing host to an abundance or marine life.  Afterwards you will journey back to Reykjavik for the night.

On your final day you will get up and after breakfast drive again to the National Park Þingvellir, where you will do 1 dive in the Silfra fissure.  Situated in the heart of Þingvellir, the site of the world's oldest parliament and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Silfra lava fissure is one of Iceland's best kept secrets and presents a somewhat unearthly scene.  

Located directly on top of the rift between the continents of America and Europe, the crystal clear water in the deep fissure gives you a feeling of being weightless as you glide along with the lazy current.  Visibility here is amazing and is only limited by the density of the water itself.  Depth varies from 10 to 30 meters.

Itinerary

5 Day Itinerary

Day 1: REYKJAVÍK - DAVÍÐSGJÁ - AKUREYRI

Your trip will start our trip by visiting the National Park Þingvellir, located about an hour drive from Reykjavik, to dive Davíðsgjá, often described as Silfra’s darker wilder sibling. This spectacular lava ravine has long been known by the local dive community but rarely visited by others than locals, reason being the close proximity to the world-renowned Silfra. However, this mystical dive site, located on the edge of the Arctic char’s protected spawning grounds, is the perfect alternative to Silfra, just off the beaten path. After your one extended dive, you will make your way up north where you will spend two nights in our lovely hotel in Akureyri.

Day 2: DIVING IN STRÝTAN

On your second day you will dive the majestic Strýtan. The big one is a 55m towering hydrothermal chimney that reaches up to 15 meters below the surface. Close by you find Arnarnesstrýtur, a bit smaller chimney but all the same a favourite dive site by many locals, as it is probably one of the world’s best places to observe wolf fish in their natural habitat. The place is literally crowded with them and you might even get to meet your wolf fish friend, Stefanie. You will take the morning early with a boat dive to have the whole day ahead of us to explore these two dives sites. Strýtan has been a protected nature reserve since 2OO1 and is subject to extensive research and observation by scientists from all over the world, therefore these sites are for experienced divers only, as a complete buoyancy control is required.

Day 3: AKUREYRI - THE DIAMOND CIRCLE - MÝVATN

On your second day up north you will start with a scenic drive from your Akureyri hotel to the first dive site, Nesgjá. On your way you will make a stop at Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods and another stop at Tjörnes peninsula coastal viewpoint, if you are lucky you might even see the famous Icelandic puffin. The dive site Nesgjá is the result of tectonic movement and the divergence of the Eurasian and North American continental plates. Similar to Silfra and Davíðsgjá, but also quite different in many ways, Nesgjá is modestly shallow but amazingly beautiful and has often been called 'Silfra of the north'.

After the dive you will continue on to Litlaá, a 17°C geothermal river, for a one of a kind snorkelling experience. You will be mesmerized by the dancing volcanic sands and multi-coloured sediments leaping from the bottom. Heated water erupts from below the bottom causing beautiful bubbling sand pools and ripples in the riverbed while you drift along the surface above.

Before you head to your hotel in Mývatn, you continue your drive on the famous Diamond Circle which includes a few unforgettable stops. The first stop will be at the 45m high and 100m wide Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, with 500 cubic metres of water per second plunging over the edge. Next stop will be at Námafjall geothermal area where you will walk around the smoking fumaroles and boiling mud pots, surrounded by sulphur crystals of many different colours. The sulphur gives the area an overwhelming smell of egg. You will end your long adventure day at the Mývatn Nature Baths where you can relax in an alkaline bathing lagoon and enjoy the amazing scenery. 

Day 4: MÝVATN - AKUREYRI - REYKJAVÍK

Today you are back to diving in Eyjafjörður fjord. This time you will complete one dive and aiming for either The Wall ore the French garden of which are amazing geological structures with an abundance of marine life; red fish, lump suckers, wolf fish. Also, they are known for their colourful display of anemones and rocks covered with algae in shades of pink and purple you did not know existed. After the dive you will head back to Reykjavík city where you will spend the night at a hotel located at the old harbour area in Reykjavík.

Day 5: SILFRA - GOLDEN CIRCLE

On your final day you will head out early morning from the hotel to dive Iceland’s ultimate dive site, Silfra! The site is located in Þingvellir National Park, an area of immense interest to geologists and cultural historians alike. The rift valley of Þingvellir was created by the slow separation of the Eurasian and North American continental plates, and it was here that the original settlers of Iceland held their annual legislative assembly. The Silfra fissure is the exact location where the continental plates divide; at one point in the dive, you can touch the walls of each continent. As the water that fills Silfra is glacial water that has been filtered through basaltic lava rock for a distance of 50 km, Silfra’s underwater visibility is unparalleled by any other dive site on the planet. After the dive, you will head to drive the famous Golden Circle which includes stops at Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss, the most photographed waterfall in all of Iceland. These magnificent sites should not be missed by any visitor to Iceland.

Dates

Enquire / Book 31 Mar - 03 Oct 2022 - from £ 2,590

Departures every Thursday

Price based on two people sharing a double / twin room

Price includes
6 guided dives in 5 different dive locations & 1 guided snorkel
4 nights B&B accommodation in 4* hotels
All transportation as per itinerary
Tanks
Weights

Price excludes
Dive kit rental
International flights
Travel insurance

Available Fixed dates March - October 2022 (departing Thursdays). Please contact us to discuss private trips.

Experience Required Advanced Scuba Diver Certification (PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent)

Minimum Age 18 years

Duration of Trip 5 days

Minimum Group Size 4 persons

Maximum Group Size 6 persons

We recommend you bring Warm clothes, long underwear, thick socks, dive equipment (all dive equipment can be hired)

Activity Level Demanding

Please Note All dives are performed in a dry suit, consequently, divers are required to provide details of their sizes prior to the trip. Please confirm your height, weight and shoe size so that we can ensure you are provided with the best fitting dry suit.

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