Wake up call: 8:30am
Activities: snorkelling through Silfra.
On our final full day, we were split into two groups. One group opted for buggy driving and the other opted for snorkelling. I chose to do snorkelling.
Now, I know what your thinking here. Why on earth would anyone choose to snorkel in Iceland? Especially where the water temperature is only 3 degrees. Let me tell you that I did not regret this one bit.
Silfra was created by the divide in the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. This separation cut through Iceland and the plates continue to grow apart by around 2cm every year. If that wasn’t cool enough, the water that fills Silfra runs from the glaciers, it is filtered underground and through lava rock – it is super clear, the clearest water you will ever see. In fact the visibility through Silfra is as far as your own eyes will focus.
To begin the day, we were transferred from the hotel to Thingvellir National Park. As we arrived we met our guides and sat through a briefing. The guides were relaxed, which made me relax more too. They briefed us on the snorkel tour itself and on the equipment we would be using. Once the safety briefing had been complete, it was time to the fun to start – getting into our dry suits. That was not a fun task, shimmying into a tight rubber suit and getting your head stuck as the rubber seal tightens around you. These suits were not the most flattering (picture inserted below) but it made for good fun. Ultimately these suits were going to keep us warm in the water.
From the visitor centre we walked to the Silfra entrance point, albeit we looked like a disorganised bunch of stormtroopers. After adjusting the goggles and attaching the flippers I was good to go. I followed the guide down the steps and entered the water. I expected to feel the cold water immediately but I didn’t and at that point I relaxed further knowing the the dry suit was doing its job. As I lowered myself into the water, I could feel the cold water on my face but instantly I was mesmerised by the sights below. I couldn’t believe that I was actually snorkelling between two continents.
Through the tour, we snorkelled through Silfra’s narrowest section, where the continental plates are really close I could almost touch them. The route then widens into Silfra Hall, here the full spectrum of Silfra’s blue and turquoise colours are seen. At one point the plates widen and where the boulders have fallen away, you can see for miles below, it felt like I was flying.
I can not describe how peaceful the tour was, how beautiful the colours of the water were and how amazing it felt to simply float through the continental split.
The tour lasted for approximately 30 mins, I was glad to get out of the water in the end though as the cold water had made my face go numb. It was back to base and time to squeeze out of the dry suits. I bet you can imagine how that went. We then finished up taking a few minutes to reflect on what we had just seen, drink got chocolate and eat some biscuits before we headed back to the hotel.
Disclaimer: for those of you, who have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s or UC, I would recommend to think about this tour. There is limited access to toilets and once your in the dry suit there is not getting out of it. I would completely recommend doing the snorkelling as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but make sure you can cope for a couple of hours without access to rest rooms.
The rest of the day was spent at leisure, we found a local swimming pool, got in the outdoor hot tub and relaxed further. During that evening, we spent some time in Reykjavik and ate our last meal together before we caught the early flight back the next morning.
During this trip to Iceland, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I did things I would never have dreamed of picking to do and I loved every second of it. I am now thinking about heading back to Iceland in the winter months, I want a shot at seeing the Aurora Borealis.
For more photos from this trip, head over to my Instagram @crohnswithme. I’ve also added a story highlight with some video content.
Here are some of my favourite snaps from day 4 📍🇮🇸📸: