A guide to diving in the clearest water on earth
What to expect: The structure of the Silfra dive
There is a morning and an afternoon dive available on most days of the week. I recommend the morning session, as it was done by 2pm and we had the rest of the day at our leisure.
If you’re going with a dive company, they will pick you up from Reykjavik an hour before your dive time. You’ll then drive to the site, with a quick stop for a snack and a toilet break on the way.
On arrival at Silfra, you’ll have a briefing about the dive and environment at the site (30 – 40 minutes), followed by gearing up (30+ minutes) and walking 100 metres from the car park to the dive site.
Each diver will have a one-on-one weight test with an instructor (groups are limited to four divers per instructor), followed by your first submersion under the water and skills testing.
Then you’re off for about 35 – 40 minutes of blissful floating in crystal clear water.
The maximum allowed depth of the Silfra dive is 18 metres. The average depth of the dive is between seven and 12 metres.
There is a break after the first dive – up to one hour to rest and recover. This involves walking 300 metres from the dive site to the car park, which can be a challenge carrying your weights and oxygen tank in addition to feeling cold and tired.
During the break you can go to the toilet, take off your wet hood and gloves and put dry, warm things over the top. You’ll enjoy hot chocolate and biscuits – they will taste amazing.
You’ll then get back into your gear and prepare for the second dive, which is shorter in duration (about 25 minutes) but feels a lot more relaxed because you know what to expect.
Once you’re done, your instructors will get you out of your gear quickly and help you get warm.
You’ll enjoy hot chocolate and biscuits again and have the time to chat about the dive with your group before you begin the drive back to town.