Diving in Iceland: the essentials of what you need to know

In the article “Icelandic dive : go to Silfra“, I tell you about diving in iceland as my nice experience during the summer.

If you are tempted by this experience, here is a summary of what you need to know to organize your dive trip for diving in Iceland

10 points on diving in iceland in the Silfra Fissure:

  1. Incredible visibility, perhaps unique in the world
  2. A dive near the North Pole
  3. The unique dive at the intersection of American and Eurasian tectonic plates
  4. A consequent price. It will cost you 350 € per person for 2 tanks dive, diving in iceland is never cheap
  5. Modern equipment, adapted and in very good condition available to you
  6. A professional organization of quality and without fault
  7. The temperature of 3 degrees in the water in summer
  8. A short season if you want to enjoy the light of the day
  9. Only the atmosphere counts at this spot (there is no or almost no aquatic life in the icy fissure of Silfra
  10. Passionate guides … in any case ours
Un plongeur dans la grande crevasse de la faille de Silfra
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

Of course, diving in Iceland is not just about diving in the fissures. You can also dive into the ocean where you can discover hot springs. However, while the marine environment is certainly incredible, it is the dives in a fissure (mostly Silfra) that are popular with divers from all over the world to experience this amazing diving experience.

Deux plongeurs dans la faille de Silfra en Islande
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

However, it is difficult to dive in Iceland without seizing the opportunity to discover the rest of this wonderful country. You will cross breathtaking landscapes and curiosities that we meet (almost) only there.  Volcanoes, geysers, impressive waterfalls, puffins.

A country with several seasons in a single day.  Nights that never arrive (in summer) and conversely for the day (in winter), Iceland is full of tales and impressive legends.

To help you organize your future expedition in this exceptional country here are a few things to keep in mind.

10 places (excluding diving in iceland) that I really appreciated.

Restaurant KEX. In the heart of the capital. This downright unusual place is the perfect place to take a break and enjoy an Icelandic dish sipping a local beer. Do not be impressed by the front of the building and dare to push the door, it’s just amazing.

Geyser. Geysir is where you can see the famous geyser “postcard”. If you do not expect to see the biggest, his little brother will amaze you and you can not help but make “oooh” and “aaah” when it will blow.

Un geyser qui sort de terre en Islande
© Thomas Somme

The waterfalls.  There are so many in Iceland that it is difficult to choose one in particular. I can say that the strength of the Gulfoss waterfalls bluffed me. That Seljalandfoss stunned me but it is perhaps the least visited Haifoss who impressed me the most.

Vue aérienne de la cascade de Haifoss en Islande
© Thomas Somme

Witches mountain. This is a whoww  expedition.  First take the F35 road in (very) bad condition that will impress you and that is accessible only to  4X4 vehicles. To make the tens of km that connect Gulfoss to Kerlingarfjöll, you will have to dare driving at a speed of +/- 60km / hour on the F35 track where you probably want  not to exceed 20km / hour. Dare to go beyond your fear and your car will slide over bumps and pits (corrugated iron effect) as long as you can avoid the larger holes. Arrived at the campsite in Hveravellir you will need an hour and a half of walking on the way (part of it in the snow even in the middle of summer) to join Kerlingarfjöl and an hour back . Here, you can find deep ocher, pink, yellow, green, blue colors that will mingle with fumaroles of this exceptional site. You will easily understand why it is called the mountain of the witches. You do not like walking? Access to the site is also possible by car via the F347 😉.

The Landmannalaugar.  Iceland’s must-see national park. I is told a little everything and anything about its access which is impossible for some unless you have a big SUV and easy for others with a simple small city SUV . As an example we had no problem to cross from north to south taking us one day with a KIA Sorento 4X4 (although I frankly freaked out the idea of ​​passing the first ford) loaded with 5 people and luggage. But we must admit that we were present around July 20th and that the rivers were rather dry. Have we been lucky?

Une personne au bord de la rivière dans le Landmannalaugar en Islande
© Thomas Somme
Vue du Landmannalaugar
© Thomas Somme

Ice lagoon Jokulsarlon. What an amazing experience to navigate near the icebergs on this lake that separates the Vatnajökull glacier from the sea before you can admire the last pieces of ice that are moving away in the ocean. If the Ice Lagoon is a must, his little brother Fjallsalron, much less frequented a few kilometers further west, will not demerit because of its sumptuous decor just for the pleasure of being alone in the world.

Puffin Rock. It is to the west of the small town of Vik that you will find this puffin rock. It does not matter if it rains cats and dogs (as it was the case for me), you will be ecstatic in front of these small birds typical of this part of the world. If you are staying in Vik and are looking for a restaurant, the Sudur-Vik restaurant is very nice 😉

Un macareux en plein vol
© Thomas Somme

Volcano hut. A place we love.  Lost at the foot of the famous  Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Say that again ?). A magical place to relax and / or to have breath-taking walks (in every sense of the word). In the cafeteria you will drink beetroot soup or fill up with raw vegetables before starting the climb of the peaks around you.

The Kerio volcano. Very close to Reyjkjawick, this volcano with its gradations of colors is also worth seeing.

The Blue lagoon.  It may be one of the most touristic places in Iceland. It does not detract from the charm of this huge milky hot bath south of Reykjawick and finishes your stay on a note of sweetness and relaxation after long days of walking and discoveries.

Hélène devant l'entrée du Blue Lagoon en Islande
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

10 helpful tips for your stay in Iceland:

  1. Expect a large budget especially if you do not intend to camp: the hotel offering is small and prices can quickly be…high
  2. Book early enough: Iceland is a destination more and more appreciated and hotels and / or tourist sites are quickly stormed. For example: sometimes you have to book your visit to the Blue Lagoon several weeks in advance
  3. Do not underestimate the time between the different stops. Not that roads are always difficult to practice but especially that you will very regularly want to stop to enjoy the beauty of the nature … it would be a shame not to enjoy
  4. Icelandic gastronomy in restaurants will often be limited to cod, lamb and hamburgers. With a little luck, you can taste artic char, a fish with a taste similar to that of salmon but finer.
  5. If you can, book a true 4X4 car to avoid being limited in your movements. Many roads are only allowed for this type of vehicle and some are even inaccessible to the small 4X4 specially if you have to cross fords.
  6. Fill up your vehicle regularly: it would be stupid to run out of gas in the middle of the Landmannalaugar.
  7. If you can (time and especially budget), plan a “whale” expedition: it seems that this tourism is busy gaining the upper hand financially on whale hunting. Also, the government would consider banning the latter for the benefit of tourist observation. By participating in this activity, you will combine the useful with the pleasant 🤗
  8. In your luggage, take seasonal clothing with the emphasis on layering. In the middle of summer it is not unusual for the temperature to be around 13 degrees
  9. Lovers of drones, know that Iceland does not provide any restrictions in its law except for the prohibition of flying your gear on sites where it is clearly prohibited (signs are clearly visible for this purpose): basically, most tourist sites. But the aerial views in the breathtaking sites lost in nature will leave you speechless.
  10. If you are limited by time during your trip, choose at least the famous golden triangle that will give you a rather exceptional overview of Icelandic landscapes
Un macareux sur une falaise près de Vik en Islande
© Thomas Somme

10 incredible things about Iceland

  1. Everything is expensive in Iceland. For example, it will cost you +/- 4 € for … going to the toilet in touristic places!
  2. The country is full of … French people! This destination seems to be loved in the hexagon, you will hear people speaking French on almost all the tourist sites
  3. There are (almost no) public garbage cans in Iceland. The country is incredibly clean and yet you will have a hard time finding a trash can to get rid of your garbage. Often, you will have to wait for your base for the night.
  4. You will come across many cars without a license plate at the front of the vehicle … victims of fords crossings
  5. Do not be surprised to see tiny houses on your way; these are dwellings for the elves . And if you are surprised to observe the doors drawn on rocks it is simply that they are inhabited by these little beings … and yes, the beliefs in Iceland are surprising. A survey conducted in 2006 even revealed that 55% of Icelanders believed in huldufolk (elves, dwarves, …)
  6. Engineers do not hesitate to deviate the course of a road to avoid blasting a rock deemed to be inhabited by a troll giving sometimes incomprehensible road path
  7. In Iceland you will not find alcohol on sale in supermarkets. If you want to buy some, you will have to go to a state-owned store, Vinbudin, which only sells tobacco and alcohol. Good advice, the duty free of the airport (accessible on departure and on arrival) will save you money in this sector
  8. The credit card is accepted everywhere in Iceland even in the most remote campsites. So no need to withdraw money from ATM except to pay the toilet.
  9. It seems that in Iceland one can fart when sitting at a the table for lunch or dinner without that hinders anyone while blowing his nose in public would be very badly perceived … to the good opinion …
  10. Why do Icelanders believe in huldufolk? In Iceland nature is particularly unpredictable: islands can spring from the salty waters surrounding the country, rivers move without reasons of several tens of meters and the green and grassy plains turn into steaming lava and ash the next day. Nothing is gained and Icelanders have long attributed these incredible natural phenomena to the presence of the hidden people
Hélène devant les paysages islandais
© DifferentDive | DDIVE

Ready for adventure?

Tell me your impressions, tips and other unusual information on your past and / or future Iceland trip in a comment below

And above all … do not forget to be happy  🤗

Helene

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