• Ever considered Iceland as a snorkelling destination?
  • Take a dip into the beautiful Thingvellir National Park
  • John Summerton takes us through his unique Icelandic experience

John Summerton from Side Tracked takes us through his experience in Iceland.

It was snowing lightly and just above freezing as I walked, dressed in a dry suit and thick neoprene gloves, and armed with a snorkel and flippers, to the water’s edge. I was about to enter the Silfra Rift in Thingvellir National Park, Iceland to experience this totally unique underwater world.

The Silfra Rift is a crack that has opened up over millions of years between the North American and Eurasian continents – a natural fissure between two tectonic plates that is growing at a rate of 2cm per year. The water comes from the nearby Langjökull glacier and therefore is freezing cold (around 2ºC) all year round and filtered through porous underground lava before reaching the lake to be the purest, freshest water you’ll ever taste.

At the water’s edge I donned the mask and flippers and stepped down into the icy abyss. The reason this snorkelling experience is so unique is down to the astonishing visibility and incredible spectrum of colours, and true to its reputation it was nothing like I’d ever seen before. The underwater world was truly vibrant and glowing with hues of blues and greens.

After a couple of moments getting used to the feeling of natural buoyancy due to the air in the dry suit my guide tells me about the route. We spend the next 40 minutes gently floating through the rift. Depths vary from a couple of metres down to 23 meters in the area called the Cathedral and the clarity of water still amazes me – we can see for miles! We drift gently over the huge boulders and glacial silt I turn over and float on my back for a moment, the snow falling gently onto my mask, and marvel at the experience. Unforgettable.

If snorkelling in Iceland sounds like your cup of tea, make sure your travel insurance includes cover for these kinds of exciting activities. LV= travel insurance provides cover for almost all activities and sports while you're on a trip. You can find out more here.

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