Characterized by the presence of millenary volcanoes that alternate with glaciers among the largest in the world, Iceland is an ideal destination for those who dream of living in close contact with nature. An extraordinary activity is represented by diving and snorkeling in the Faglia di Silfra, a unique place of its kind.
Here how to organize a visit to the Faglia di Silfra, Iceland: how to get there, prices and tips!
- Where is it and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit the Faglia di Silfra
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there
- By car: Starting from Reykjavik, follow Þingvallavegur road towards thingvellir national park and then take route 49 to National Park (53,4 km, 50 min - Get directions). Several parking spaces available on site, from which you can then reach the Silfra Fissure on foot. The closest is Parking P5 (400 m, 5 min), followed by Parking P2 (1 km, 12 min)
- By bus: several companies organize tours to Silfra departing from Reykjavik, often including the entire Golden Circuit and Thingvellir park in one day. Generally we leave at 8:00 to return in the late afternoon. These include Reykjavik Excursions, Sterna and Iceland Excursions.
Hours and prices
- from March to November 9: 00-17: 00, from June to August 9: 00-19: 00
- Best time to avoid queues: at 9:00 am, at opening hours, to be able to dive in the first available round
- access to the area is free, snorkeling or diving for a fee based on the package chosen (transport from Reykjavik, photos, duration) starting from € 80,00 - discover the packages
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
What to see and how to visit the Faglia di Silfra
The Faglia del Silfra is a place of disarming beauty which affects both snorkelers and geology experts, but not only.
Located in the heart of Thingvellir National Park, specifically in the beautiful Thingvallavatn Lake, the fault lies between two continental plates, the Eurasian one and the American one. This certainly contributes to making its exploration even more captivating: visiting the fault means making a real journey between continents! It is in fact the fissure that divides the North American plate from the Eurasian one. Furthermore, the water of the lake itself makes the place even more interesting, so frozen but at the same time crystalline that it allows almost perfect visibility up to 100 m depth.
The more experienced and daring will visit all parts of the fault: the Hall, the Cathedral, the Great Gorge and the Lagoon. The dives last a total of 6/8 hours (depends on the weather and the season).
Furthermore, to dive it is advisable to rely on specialized guides and organized tours. Numerous tours that depart directly from the capital Reykjavik. You can find snorkeling excursions without transport included, or day tours with snorkeling and pickup at selected Reykjavik hotels and bus stops.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 9:00
- Watch out for restrictions: diving is allowed only to certified divers and in possession of the equipment, through permission to be requested on the official website, or through organized tours and certified local guides
- Fishing permits: Fishing permits are sold at the Service Center and cost ISK 1500 per day
- Minimum time: the ideal would be to be able to dedicate a whole day
- Visit of the surroundings: this area is full of unmissable attractions. Dedicate a day or two to all of Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Golden Circle geysers. Also nearby are the volcanic lake of Keldur, the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall and the Wood of Thor
- nightsThere are no lodgings in the park, but the information center rangers will be able to direct you to the area. Camping is only allowed in two areas of the park. In Leirar (5 minutes walk from the information center) and in Vatnskot, on the Þingvallavatn lake. Permits for camping and fishing must be obtained at the information center upon arrival. Cost from IKR 1.300,00 per night (€ 8,10). All the info on the official website of the Park
- Weather: this park tends to enjoy the best climate on the island. However, it has a rapid variability and the temperature range between night and day is very considerable. During the winter it can snow a lot
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
The Faglia del Silfra is located in a place of great naturalistic and geological interest: in this part of Iceland the tectonic plates meet and each year are separated by about 2 centimeters, causing earthquakes every ten years.
Il Thingvellir National Park it was declared such in 1930 thanks to a special law that made it a "protected national shrine for all Icelanders" as well as a territory "under the direct control of Parliament, never salable or mortgaged". The area is not inhabited and cannot be established permanently, nor can structures be created.
The landscape of Thingvellir Park is volcanic type, with several faults and gorges which testify to the natural phenomenon of continental drift. Just one of these faults, the splendid one Almannagja fault, about 5 kilometers long, hosts the beautiful one in its canyon Öxarárfoss waterfall. It originates from the picturesque Oxara River, which flows through the entire Thingvellir Park. Lake Thingvallavatn, rich in Arctic char, is the place where you can snorkel and dive and admire the incredible Silfra Fault.
But it is also one of the most important places in Iceland from a historical point of view. In fact, just a few kilometers away from the fault, the first parliament (Althing) of Europe was born in the tenth century, which lasted until 1262, when the island passed under Norwegian and then Danish domination.
Furthermore, always on this site, two of the most significant events in the history of the country took place: around the year 17, the chiefs of the Icelandic tribes gathered to accept the Christian religion as their main creed; on June 1944, , however, the official ceremony was held to proclaim Iceland's Independence in the eyes of the world.
Being a location of great beauty, it is not surprising that it entered a be part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004. Furthermore, recently this area has been chosen as the setting for numerous films and TV series, including some scenes from Game of Thrones.
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