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Posted by Jerome Konen on 03/04/05 Photo  Homepage
Best Dives in Iceland DIVE TRIP
In Iceland where icebergs and volcanoes reach high up into the sky, where hot springs and waterfalls face rough lava deserts, still exists a genuine notion of adventure. These are the highlights of the expedition.
Text by Jerome Konen
Trip from 26 July - 30 August 2003
Photo by Jerome Konen
Silfra, the most impressive dive spot in Iceland.
Gallery >>
Exposed and completely surrounded by deep-blue water, I am unable to believe what I see. This true sensation of a weightless body, surrounded by this endlessly visibility, makes me feel confused. I'm really overwhelmed by the air-like quality of these waters situated between two continents, being Iceland's largest natural lake, the Thingvallavatn. Huge fissures filled with crystal clear water that flows into the lake are without doubt the most impressive spot called "Silfra", 35m high steep walls, countless tunnels and caves. The emerged clear water has a year-round temperature of 2-3°C.

The Westman Islands have to be considered as an insider tip during summer - the season of the octopus. Here along the southern coast of Iceland, many islands or bits of volcanic rocks can be seen as being the result of eruptions of now extinguished volcanoes.

A truly unique diving experience is a silicate thermal chimney that has grown over the last 11000 years up to a gigantic tower in the Eyjafjördur, between Hrisey and Akureyri. The active hydrothermal vent is called "Strytan"; it rises from 70m depth up to 15m below the sea surface. Anemones, sea squirts and mussels decorate this richly covered thermal chimney that is rising like a needle out of the depths of the fjord.

Askja The highlight of our expedition was a dive into the unknown, right in the heart of a sleeping volcano - the Askja, a gigantic caldera. As a result of its last eruption in 1875 the ground next to the vent gave way and slowly filled with water, thus creating the lake Öskjuvatn; with its 220m, Iceland's deepest lake. Underwater the ground is covered with fields of green and yellow algae and bubbles rising out of the organically slimy bottom soil.

Icelandic waters make it possible not only to dream about exploring new grounds and embarking on an adventure, but also make it actually alive.

Best Dives
Map of Iceland's Best Dives
If you want to discover the local marine life from the shore, it is best to do so from the Reykjanes peninsula, West of Reykjavik:
· Minni-Vatnesleysa - the most beautiful dive spot on the peninsula (after arrangement with Arctic Diving, as it is situated on a privately owned property), GPS: N 64°01.68' W 22°14.23'
· Gardur - from the old pier, but watch for the strong current of the tides, GPS: N 64°04.49' W 22°38.56'
· Pórkötlustaðir - dreamlike solitary place close to Grindavik, kelp underwater with lots of brown spotted Lemon soles, GPS: N 63°49.91' W 22°23.77'
If you want to explore the colourful underwater world of the Westman Islands you do so at the Western coast either with a hired boat or from land:
· Heimaey - directly behind the golf course in the crater of a submarine volcano, GPS: N 63°26.43' W 20°18.14'
One of the world best and most spectacular dive sites is situated in the Thingvellir national park:
· Silfra - a tectonic fissure filled with crystal clear spring water with a visibility of up to 100m, GPS: N 64°15.35' W 21°07.02'
If you want to step into Jules Verne's shoes have a dive between the many islands of the Breiðafjördur in the North of the Snaefellsnes peninsula:
· Stykkishólmur - strong current dive from the boat, GPS: N 65°05.04' W 22°40.30'
A totally different Iceland can be discovered on Hrísey, the second largest island, located in the Eyjafjödur high up in the North:
· Hrísey - shallow water dive, abundant sea life, GPS: N 65°59.62' W 18°24.02'
· Strytan - one of the world's foremost and unique dive spots: a gigantic cone shaped submarine geothermal vent, GPS: N 65°49.73' W 18°06.71'
Wreck diving in Akureyri:
· "Standard" - a wooden sailing boat, still in good condition, lying in a depth of 27m and sank at the beginning of the last century, easily reachable from the harbour pier, GPS: N 65°41.09' W 18°04.72'
A "tour de force" inclusive diving in a strange, alien like but magnificent landscape:
· Askja - diving in Iceland's deepest lake (220m), the Öskjuvatn, in the heart of a volcano massif, GPS: N 65°02.70' W 16°43.54'
  Related Links:
· Expedition Logbook - Field reports of the the Iceland Dive Expedition
· Icelandic Tourist Board - The official travel guide to Iceland

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