On this 10-day dive tour, we will drive the ring road around Iceland and visit all the underwater highlights as well as the amazing top-side sites and scenery Iceland has to offer. It is the ultimate dive tour in Iceland! This tour is also well suited for non-divers or snorkeling partners and travelling companions.
Accommodation for 9 nights in guesthouses with shared facilities and hotels with private facilities, breakfast (from day 2) and dinners (from day 1), dive guide for 10 days in up to 12 dives in 8 different dive locations, 1 snorkeling, all transportation while on tour (both land and water), sight-seeing tours, air tanks and weights .
Lunch on all days, snacks, all beverages, diving equipment (other than air tanks and weights), all other activities and everything not stated in the included part.
Advanced PADI Open Water diver or equivalent (participants must bring their diver certification card). Dry suit experience. A drysuit certification or a minimum of 10 logged dry suit dives within the last year signed by an instructor (participants must bring proof of dry suit experience).
5 to 8 divers
18 (17 if accompanied by parent/guardian)
For this tour to be confirmed, the minimum number of passengers has to be met. If the tour is not confirmed you will get a full refund.
We will start the tour by visiting Thingvellir National Park to dive Davidsgja, a dive site that has been described as Silfra’s darker wilder sibling. This hidden gem is a deep fissure that runs into lake Thingvallavatn. The site is a favourite among local divers as it is less crowded than it’s more famous counterpart and for the large, curious trout that commonly join divers to explore the fissure. After our dive in Davidsgja, we will make our way west to Snæfellsnes, stopping along the way for a short hike through a lava field, or perhaps to drink from an ancient, naturally carbonated spring. Accommodation at a cosy guesthouse in or near Stykkishólmur
We will start day two with an exciting dive at Birgisklettur, one of over 2000 islets and skerries in the Breiðafjörður archipelago. We will dive around this little island and observe the amazing marine life and scenery including a wall, boulders and a cavern dotted with sun starfish, sponges, anemones, an array of different shells, crustaceans, sea stars and other intriguing invertebrates.
After the dive, we will head back to shore enjoying a boat ride around the archipelago renowned for its rich bird life (puffin, arctic tern, eider duck, and the white-tailed eagle, to name a few) along with frequent sightings of whales and dolphins. After a delicious lunch in the village we will enjoy a scenic drive along the northern shore of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and head up north towards Skagafjörður. Accommodation at a guesthouse/hotel in or near Sauðárkrókur
Day three will take us to Drangey, a fantastically scenic 180m tall monolithic bird cliff in Skagafjörður bay. It is the home of tens of thousands of sea birds, most prominently guillemots and puffins. These birds share our keen interest in diving and we will hopefully enjoy some underwater encounters with these feathered fellow dive enthusiasts¹. Other than the bird life the largely unexplored underwater landscape of Drangey offers interesting marine life and underwater scenery. On our journey back to land we will of course be on the look-out for seals and whales, which frequent the area. We will keep our snorkeling equipment handy, should an opportunity present itself! After the dive at Drangey we can enjoy the opportunity to relax in the legendary natural hot pool of Grettir the Strong, Iceland’s most notorious outlaw of yore who famously swam to Drangey with a flaming torch in one hand, where he hid from the law! After an exciting day of in-and-under water activities, we will head towards Eyjafjörður where we will stay for the next 3 nights close to Akureyri. Accommodation at a cosy country guesthouse in the vicinity of Akureyri
¹Best time for diving sea birds is May/June.
In the middle of Eyjafjörður lies a series of very special dive sites. Firstly, the Strýtan hydrothermal chimney. Over the last 10.000 years a spring has been releasing hot mineral-rich water into the ocean from a depth of 70m. As soon as the dissolved minerals in the hot fresh water come in contact with the cold ocean water, they react and solidify. This process has created a 55m towering chimney that reaches up to 15m below the surface. Strýtan has been a protected nature reserve since 2001 and is subject to ongoing research and observation by scientists from around the world. The immense volume of mineral rich geothermally heated water escaping through vents all over the chimney are visible as an impressive amalgam of haloclines and thermoclines. On the chimney divers may also find themselves among large schools of coal fish, solitary wolfish and numerous other species of fish, crabs, and critters.
On the opposite side of the fjord lies a smaller hydrothermal chimney, aptly referred to as Little Chimney. While being smaller than its counterpart across the bay, Little Chimney is many divers’ favourite ocean site in Iceland. Along with mineral deposits and hydrothermal vents this site is one of the world’s best places to observe the charismatic wolf fish in their natural habitat. As many as 15 specimens have been spotted on a single dive! Other highlights include a plethora of invertebrates, from giant sea cucumbers and anemones to nudibranchs and the elusive but beautiful skeleton shrimp. Stingrays, scorpion fish and lump suckers are also often spotted. The site is home to some very inquisitive Atlantic cod individuals who are more than happy to pose for pictures. Between the Wolf fish, macro life and the cod this site is a real treat for photographers! On both dives in Eyjafjörður we will explore the thermophilic flora and fauna that have evolved and settled around the hydrothermal chimneys to enjoy the benefits of the hot water that wells out of them. Divers who decide to dive Strýtan (the larger of the two Chimneys) need to have excellent buoyancy control as the nearest bottom is at a depth of 70 meters. You also need to be reasonably physically fit as there can occasionally be strong surface currents. It bears mentioning that the Eyjafjörður fjord is a prime whale watching area and we have had many close encounters with the humpback whales that hang out in the bay, and gotten a whiff of minkes and even a blue whale! We are keeping our fingers crossed for more exciting whale encounters to come! After diving we will have time to relax in the cozy guesthouse lounge before enjoying some one of a kind cuisine.
Accommodation at a cosy country guesthouse in the vicinity of Akureyri
This morning we will make one last dive in Eyjafjörður, before heading east. We are aiming to dive on either the Wall, or the wreck of The Standard. The Wall is an amazing geological structure with an abundance of marine life, including red fish, lump suckers and wolf fish. It is also known for its colourful display of anemones and rocks covered with algae in every shade of pink and purple. The Standard is an amazingly well preserved wreck of a German herring ship that sank to the bottom of Akureyri harbour over a hundred years ago. This 60-meter-long wooden vessel has remained surprisingly intact in 25 meters of water and is today home to quite an array of marine life that enjoys the shelter of this large artificial reef. This is certainly a great opportunity to visit a unique dive site and window into Icelandic maritime history. Accommodation at a cosy country guesthouse in the vicinity of Akureyri
The first site of this day will be Nesgjá. Similar to Silfra this site is a fissure resulting from tectonic movement and the divergence of the Eurasian and North American continental plates. Filled with cobalt-blue lava-filtered glacial melt-water, Nesgjá is relatively shallow but amazingly beautiful with visibility close to that of Silfra. The lagoon at the end of Nesgjá is vast and boasts a beautiful lava channel of its own. The lagoon is filled with fresh water springs whose flow is visible in the gentle wafting of neon green algae strands. After the dive, we will visit Litlaá, a natural geothermally heated river with temperatures reaching 17c! This natural phenomenon offers a one of a kind snorkeling experience. You will be mesmerized by dancing volcanic sands and multi-coloured sediments leaping from the bottom. Heated water erupting from beneath causes beautiful bubbling pools of sand and ripples to form in the riverbed while you drift along above. It will make even the most experienced divers wonder if it is indeed possible to have nitrogen narcosis while snorkeling! After our snorkel we will visit Goðafoss, known as the Waterfall of the Gods. In AD 1000 Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði threw his statues of the Norse gods into this waterfall after declaring Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After yet another splendid day of diving and snorkeling we will continue on to our next accommodation in the vicinity of Lake Mývatn. Accommodation at a cosy country guesthouse in the vicinity of Lake Mývatn
We will spend most of the day sight-seeing in the area around Lake Mývatn, one of the most beautiful and volcanically active areas in the whole of Iceland. We will explore the breath-taking “Dark Castles” lava formations, a hot river flowing within a lava cave, hissing fumaroles, multi-coloured bubbling mud pools. We will also is see the yellow sulphurous mountain at Námaskarð, the lava field at Leirhnjúkur, still steaming since the eruption in the 1980s, the volcanic crater VITI (“Hell“), the pseudo-craters on the lake, to name but a few of the area’s main attractions! A favorite snack here is the smoked local trout served on a slice of dark, sweet “geyser bread”, that has been baked in the nearby hot lava for 24 hours.
After an exhilarating day of sight-seeing, we will continue on our way out east to our next accommodation and dive site in the beautiful village of Seyðisfjörður. Accommodation at a hotel in Seyðifjörður
On February 10th 1944, German bombers sank the British oil tanker and supply ship El Grillo (Spanish for The Cricket) in the scenic Seyðisfjörður, a stone’s throw from the village. The huge vessel sustained heavy damage to its hull and the captain got the orders to deliberately sink it to reduce the threat to other ships in the area and the surrounding town. All aboard survived and it came to rest at the bottom of the fjord. The wreck is about 150m long with gross tonnage exceeding 7000. It lies at a depth of roughly 45m with the shallowest point on the superstructure at about 25m, making it quite a deep dive suitable only for experienced divers. El Grillo boasts an amazingly intact super structure with lots of interesting artifacts and a truly impressive size. One can spend days diving the wreck and still find new points of interest. The wreck is home to many species of sponge, nudibranchs, crab, anemone and of course wolf fish. In order to dive El Grillo we strongly recommend that divers have experience with deep water and wreck diving.
On February 10th 1944, German bombers sank the British oil tanker and supply ship El Grillo (Spanish for The Cricket) in the scenic Seyðisfjörður, a stone’s throw from the village. The huge vessel sustained heavy damage to its hull and the captain got the orders to deliberately sink it to reduce the threat to other ships in the area and the surrounding town. All aboard survived and it came to rest at the bottom of the fjord. The wreck is about 150m long with gross tonnage exceeding 7000. It lies at a depth of roughly 45m with the shallowest point on the superstructure at about 25m, making it quite a deep dive suitable only for experienced divers. El Grillo boasts an amazingly intact super structure with lots of interesting artifacts and a truly impressive size. One can spend days diving the wreck and still find new points of interest. The wreck furthermore has lots of life on it such as sponges, nudibranchs, crabs, anemones and wolf fish. In order to dive El Grillo we strongly recommend that divers have experience with deep water and wreck diving. We will stay another night in Seyðisfjörður, giving us the opportunity of exploring this quaint and picturesque little village with its old houses and cosy atmosphere. Accommodation at a hotel in Stykkishólmur
Today we have a whole day of sight-seeing ahead of us as we drive from Seyðisfjörður down the East fjords and all the way along the South coast until we reach our accommodation for the night, in the vicinity of the small village Vík. The South Coast of Iceland is characterized by stunning scenery consisting of rugged mountains, sandy plains, fields of mossy green lava, bizarre rock and cliff formations interspersed with countless waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. We will of course also pass the majestic Vatnajökull Glacier with its numerous glacial tongues creeping down the valleys, providing a blue-white background to the otherwise black and green landscape of sands and low-growing vegetation, creating a unique play of light and colour. Besides admiring the passing landscape we will have the opportunity to make several carefully selected stops along the way in order to make the most of the experience. Some of the highlights we will visit are; the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon where floating icebergs (and often seals) can be observed from a few meters ́ distance; the black sand beaches and basalt columnar jointings at Vík; the beautiful Skógafoss waterfall and the even more beautiful seljalandsfoss waterfall. At the end of the day we will arrive at our hotel in the beautiful surroundings of moss-covered mountains, black sand beaches and the majestic Mýrdalsjökull Glacier.
Accommodation at a hotel in the vicinity of Vík.
From the South coast, we continue our journey and head to the spouting hot spring area known as Geysir. Located in the Haukadalur valley. Geysir is the largest and most geologically active area in Europe and is truly impressive, here we will find the spouting geysers strokkur and Geysir. Strokkur is a very reliable geyser erupting about once every 8 minutes, on average, setting you up for a Kodak-moment of a life time. You will have the opportunity to taste the delicious lamb soup at the Geysir Centre food court and visit the huge souvenir shop. Our next stop is the most photographed waterfall in all of Iceland, Gullfoss. This magnificent natural monument shouldn’t be missed by any visitor to Iceland. From Gullfoss we will drive to the Thingvellir National Park for our last dive of the tour, in the majestic Silfra. There ́s no better way to wrap up the Ultimate Icelandic Dive Tour then by diving the most popular site in the country, Silfra. The site is located in the Thingvellir National Park and in 2004 was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, for its cultural and historical significance as well as its natural and geological uniqueness. The dive begins by plunging into the world’s clearest water. The water is so clean that at any point in the dive a diver can remove his or her regulator for a drink! Underground springs in this area will help make this dive a breeze, we will move through the site aided by the gentle flow of glacial spring water. We’ll endeavor to make this an extended dive so that we pass through the most famous sections of Silfra all in one epic fell swoop. The last section of Silfra is the famous lagoon in which we will end our diving tour having rinsed off our equipment in the worlds cleanest water and catching a final glimpse of this Mother of all cold-water dive sites. All good things must come to an end and after a full day of impressive experiences and views we will return to Reykjavík where we will unpack the tour, exchange hugs and kisses – and email addresses – and say our goodbyes. Warning: we do have a high percentage of 10-day tour participants catching the “Iceland bug” and returning to join some of our other amazing and adventurous dive trips and expeditions. 10 days will leave you wanting more; don’t say we didn’t warn you!