This Iceland snorkeling and caving tour allows you to experience the country from a new angle.
We start a day with the black part of the tour by exploring a lava tube cave close to Reykjavík. We'll head to Raufarhólshellir, one of Iceland's longest lava tube caves. This adventure gives you great insight into the volcanic activities that have formed the country.
After caving, you will have a chance to grab some lunch between the two activities.
Next, we'll meet you at Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), where the Silfra fissure is found. Here we will put on our dry suits and get ready to explore the blue. Witness some of the clearest water on Earth as your guide leads you on a fascinating underwater journey.
Raufarhólshellir is a geological paradise renowned for its stunning minerals. Covered with colorful stalagmites and stalactites, this underground cave shows the fiery side of the land of fire and ice. The longest lava cave in Iceland, Raufarhólshell...)
Raufarhólshellir is a geological paradise renowned for its stunning minerals. Covered with colorful stalagmites and stalactites, this underground cave shows the fiery side of the land of fire and ice.
The longest lava cave in Iceland, Raufarhólshellir, spans 1360 meters long. No need to worry about crawling through tight spaces - the ceiling of this vast tunnel reaches 10 meters high.
Lava tube caves are formed by a flash cooling process of lava that flows deep below the Earth’s surface. Formed over 5000 years ago by the Leitahraun eruption, Raufarhólshellir is an ancient relic of a long-lost volcano.
During the Raufarholshellir tour, you’ll witness a place where time stands still. Marvel at the main tunnel ceiling where three stunning light beams shine, then continues to three small tunnels decorated with frozen lava. These spectacular rock formations are one of the best sights in Iceland!
Thingvellir is one of Iceland's most famous national parks. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and a historic landmark and geological wonder. Step back in time to the place where the first parliament (Alþingi) took place in 930. Today visitors can st...)
Thingvellir is one of Iceland's most famous national parks. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and a historic landmark and geological wonder. Step back in time to the place where the first parliament (Alþingi) took place in 930. Today visitors can still find archeological relics such as the Lögberg or Law Rock and ruins of stone shelters.
Perhaps its most remarkable feature, the park sits on a rift caused by the separation of two continental plates. The valley has rocky cliffs and fissures, such as the awe-inspiring Silfra fissure, world-renowned as a dive and snorkel site, where we embark on our underwater adventure.
Snorkeling in Silfra is a rare experience. Located between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, it is the only place in the world where you can swim between two continents. Dubbed as the clearest waters on Earth, the visibility at Silfra ...)
Snorkeling in Silfra is a rare experience. Located between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, it is the only place in the world where you can swim between two continents.
Dubbed as the clearest waters on Earth, the visibility at Silfra reaches close to 150 meters for unparalleled views. Stare into the ocean's depths in a way you never have before.
Your guide will accompany you as you drift through the peaceful waters. You'll soon see why this experience has been called liquid meditation. You'll also explore the underwater geology under these glacial waters.
Touch lava rocks and observe Iceland from a different angle. This one-of-a-kind adventure requires no previous snorkeling experience and is sure to captivate all ages. By the end of our trip, you'll understand why Silfra fissure snorkeling tours were rated as one of the Top 5 activities in the world by TripAdvisor!
Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim. You cannot participate if you are pregnant due to the small risk of cold water entering the suit. Medical condition: Please fill in the medical statement form in our Snorkeling Han...)
Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim. You cannot participate if you are pregnant due to the small risk of cold water entering the suit.
Medical condition: Please fill in the medical statement form in our Snorkeling Handbook before booking the tour. If you have any medical issues, you will need medical approval from a doctor.
Weight limit: 45-120 kg
Height limit: 150 cm -200 cm
Age Limit: 12 years old minimum. Guardian's approval is needed for minors under 18.
Black and Blue tour
Reviewed on February 13, 2022 by T3rri_B Review from TripAdvisor
Pick up was from BSI bus terminal and a not unreasonable time of 8am. Bear in mind that they allow half an hour for pick up but there’s somewhere warm to stay and look out from.
It’s a small bus for about 20 people and you drive to the lava tunnel first. They give you a hat with a torch and crampons to wear. It’s not too slippery and there were all levels of people doing it, so don’t be afraid.
They only take you into the tunnel a short while on this tour but you get to a part where there is no day light access and they offer the opportunity to show you what complete darkness looks like. You can say no, don’t be afraid to. But it is an experience like no other so if you can, give it a try.
You stop for lunch at a cafe. Lovely coffee and breads and soups. Reasonable prices but you can bring your own lunch.
Then the trip up to the silfra in Þingvellir national park. Absolutely stunning.
You strip down to your base layers and socks, They give you a down suit (which is super super warm) and then the wet suit over the top. (That’s fun to get on...)
Then they give you a hood/gloves and put elastic bands around your wrists and a ‘choker’ over your neck, to make sure you stay dry!
It could leak but it’s very very unlikely.
Then you walk with your flippers and mask down to the water platform and wait to go in. They put on your flippers for you and you waddle down the steps into 2 degrees water.
The suit compresses a little so you feel snug and this helps keep you warm.
The gloves let water in so try to keep your hands still and behind you like they tell you.
The water is very cool on your lips and will make them swell temporarily. After a few moments the feeling subsides and all you care about it the stunning crystal clear water you’re drifting easily through.
You don’t need to be the best swimmer but give them a heads up if you’re a little apprehensive.
There is a very small lazy river type current but otherwise it’s just a glacial pond essentially. Clean enough to drink but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Our guide was Nebo. He was hilarious and didn’t get fed up with the many questions, moanings of cold or asking ‘can you tuck this bit of hair away for me’
Remember the suit is not meant to be glamorous but it’s the one thing keeping you from jumping straight back out or sinking!
Plus after half an hour of snorkelling (it doesn’t feel like that long at all) you get hit chocolate and biscuits! What could go wrong?
Ps. You can buy the pictures they take after but I think it’s cheaper to buy online ahead of the day. They’re downloaded online, they give you the details after.
Reviewed on February 06, 2020 by Fiona Murray From our post-trip system
The lava tube tour was really interesting and well worth a visit. The silfra fissure was lovely although there was a bit of chaos when allocating people into groups which resulted in wasting a lot of time standing around (I had to go through 2 briefing sessions) before our turn to go snorkelling. I would probably try and do an early morning tour next time to beat the crowds. On the other hand, limiting groups to a maximum of 6 is really good as once you are in the water it doesn't seem so crowded.
Into the wild blue yonder!
Reviewed on January 22, 2020 by Wayne Myers From our post-trip system
The experience of walking thru a lava tube is amazing, especially in winter. You get to see the sun slowly rising as you gaze up thru the surface holes that pocket the cave. The ice forms amazing patterns on the ceilings, walls and floor. Snow drifts into the cave are rare but also have some fun shapes as well. The snorkeling was the best. The main color is blue but they have many other shades of lavender and yellow depending on the sun. And they green from the grass growing on the sea floor. It was cold but not unbearable. As you float on the surface you get a view that looks like you can just reach out to the sea bed but is actually 100 meters below!
Black and Blue Tour
Reviewed on August 13, 2019 by Kate B From our post-trip system
Black & Blue tour
Reviewed on July 10, 2019 by Helen Review from TripAdvisor
We did the lava tube cave walk combined with the snorkeling at Silfra with a fantastic guide Hauffy (sorry about the spelling!). The lava tube was really interesting and was the highlight of the day. The snorkeling was also great, the dry suits kept us dry and kind of warm. Having never snorkeled in dry suits before, that was an interesting experience on its own!
Very nice time for Black and Blue Lava Cave and Snorkeling
Reviewed on June 30, 2019 by Kimberly Review from TripAdvisor
We had a very nice time doing the Black and Blue (Lava Cave and Silfra Snorkeling) tour.
We did all parts of the cave walk and then the short crawling section. The guide was very nice and made me feel comfortable in how clear he was that those that did not feel comfortable doing the crawling portion could opt out before that point. The helmets and lights were good - only wish they gave us gloves to use or we had thought to bring our own! Wear hiking boots for the caves (sharp rocks)! Other rain gear, not necessary.
Snorkeling was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. Our snorkel guide, Ryan, was fantastic and took the time to make sure everyone was comfortable and stayed together (6 person group was good ratio). They provided a thermal layer (looked like a soft 1 piece ski suit) to wear over our normal clothes underneath the drysuit. Getting on all your gear is a lot of work, but worth it to be in the water and see so far in the clear water of the fissure!
They picked us up very promptly and the mini bus was comfortable. They probably could have offered more information about Iceland on the bus, was a quiet ride but we did not mind. I appreciated that they dropped us off to have lunch and coffee at a very nice bakery/deli and take a break for an hour in between the caving and the snorkeling. It was a good pace with this rest break.
Black and Blue - Lava tube caving & Silfra snorkeling
Reviewed on August 19, 2018 by Diantha Review from TripAdvisor
Wow! What an amazing adventure. We spent about 1.5 hours exploring a lava tube. Nick was informative and enthusiastic. We did a few small sections of crawling. Nothing too squeezy or for very long. After a lunch break at a bakery, we went to Silfra for snorkeling. They help gear you up with everything you need to stay warm and have a great experience. Julia was a fun guide and attentive to everyone’s comfort. Visibility is about 100 m and the blue colors are brilliant. Total time in the water is about 30 min plus a little time to explore the lagoon. Experience of a lifetime. I thought the lunch break was a little too long (a bit over an hour), and I wonder if another short stop somewhere could be included on this wonderful adventure; or scrap the lunch stop and tell everyone to bring something in order to add a few more stops. Booking online, pick up, and pre-trip reminders were all efficient. I highly recommend venturing out with these guys.
Black and Blue Tour
Reviewed on July 01, 2018 by Stashjem Review from TripAdvisor
What an outstanding day! One of my top 5 life experiences. Memories will be with me forever. It tested my mental and physical beliefs in what I could do - not my limits! Jonas : fantastic local tour guide. His love of nature and passion for Iceland were inspiring. Taz: outstanding dive leader - a ton of fun along with her knowledge and skill. So delighted to have spent this day with both of them loving out a travel dream!
No where else in the world to do these things so close to a major city. Get outside and do it
Black and Blue Snorkel + Lava Cave Tour
Reviewed on June 01, 2018 by Nicole Review from TripAdvisor
Excellent tour. The guide was on time picking us up from our hotel and took us to the lava cave where he explained how the caves are formed, some of the history of the cave, and pointed out the unique formations. The snorkeling portion was also amazing with incredibly clear water and beautiful colors underwater. I was nervous about being cold in the water but the dry suits kept me dry and decently warm! I wasn’t uncomfortable at all and the views were great. The guides and other people on our tour were also great, conversational and fun to be around. This is also something you can’t do without a tour guide so I definitely recommend it to experience even more of Iceland! Thanks Arctic Adventures!
Black and blue tour
Reviewed on September 13, 2017 by John Review from TripAdvisor
Lava caving and snorkelling between the north America and Eurasia tectonic plates.
Experience was amazing, and the guides where professional, friendly, funny and had great knowledge of the tour,tasks and area.
Best Tour Ever!
Reviewed on September 09, 2017 by eleanorp97 Review from TripAdvisor
I did the Black and Blue tour where you go lava tube caving and snorkeling at Silfra. My tour bus guide/caving guide was amazing and so knowledgeable about the caves! And my snorkeling guides, Ronan and Ron, were so helpful in putting all the gear on and made the swim so much fun! Merci beaucoup à tous!
Black & Blue Tour - Amazing
Reviewed on September 07, 2017 by Fran Review from TripAdvisor
The Black & Blue tour is one of the best tours that you can book with Arctic Adventures, our guides were great, the lava tube hike is amazing and the snorkelling experience is unforgettable and truly impressive. Once again is amazing, this tour is totally recommended.
Reviewed on September 02, 2017 by Zach Review from TripAdvisor
Went on the black and blue tour and our tour guides (Michael and Gary) were the absolute best and they should get both get a raise :-)
Black and Blue tour was awesome!
Reviewed on September 01, 2017 by megsyyc Review from TripAdvisor
I joined the Black and Blue tour - I was picked up outside a hotel close to my air BnB and once everyone was on board, we headed first to the lava tube. We got to explore and see all the different lava formations and learn about the geological history. It's not a long tube but you go slow through the tube and get to stop along the way to learn and take in the different formations/colours/history.
Then afterwards before going to snorkelling, we stopped by a little touristy area shop/cafe/centre for lunch - in hindsight, I would likely have brought my own lunch with me as options were somewhat limited and expensive considering - based on the info ahead of time I didn't realize this would be the stop for food.
Then it was onto the snorkelling part- the guides were very funny and friendly and very diligent and concerned about checking all gear for safety. There is limited facilities at this location but there is surprisingly a regular WC complete with a lovely warming radiator inside haha
What I also didn't realize was that you can wear socks in your drysuit AND you're provided a warming layer, which our guide lovingly referred to as a pyjama - seriously, I wasn't cold at all for my body in the water.
You get neoprene gloves and hood - and I was worried about not only my hands but also my face freezing. I run cold on a good day so everyone who knows me questioned whether I'd be able to even go in the water haha but I found it honestly amazing. The worst cold feeling I had lasted about a minute or so and it was oddly enough right after we learned how to "stand" in the water when we were doing the group photo across the fissure - I noticed I was cold after that but it soon passed.
It really is much more of a float than an active swim snorkel as our one guide stated. They're great at keeping folks calm and in good pace. There is a current at your back most of the way, and then you make a left at one point to get into the lagoon, and you have to do some swimming against a current. I'm not sure if the current changes through the year but I didn't even notice any difficulty or resistance to "swim" against it. I fully appreciate they want to ensure that folks don't underestimate their abilities as safety is priority - so I don't wish to take away from that but as someone who loves being in the water but by no means would I consider myself an expert swimmer, I was totally good, calm, and fine through that part.
After you get to the lagoon part, you can explore on your own time.
I bought an underwater camera for the trip which was cool but because of the cold water it exhausted my battery quick into the trip. If I had thought about it more, I would have liked to have a casing for it to help protect it from the cold.
The guides take photos and you can buy them afterwards for 3900 ISK.
We got hot chocolate and cookies at the end of the trip then it was back to the city.
Definitely a very unique and cool experience to do in Iceland! Where else can you say you snorkelled between two continents and techtonic plates :-)
What a day!
Reviewed on June 23, 2017 by Bryony Review from TripAdvisor
Myself and friend went on the Black and Blue day tour. I want to start with a huge thank you to Michael who was our driver for the day and guide in the cave. He had such incredible stories about historic events, amazing knowledge about the country and he was extremely funny.
The trip through the cave was a great experience, again, he was happy to answer any questions from the group with ease and he knew so much. After a lunch stop, we went snorkelling, the guys (Nick, Timos & Julian) were great there too!
On the drive back, Michael was just as fantastic as he was at the start of the day! Enthusiastic, chatty and willing to help!
Thank you for a really enjoyable day Michael, you're an absolute star!
Bryony & Bronwyn
Yes, you can bring a camera, but we recommend to have a waterproof one if you want to have it in the water with you.
If you plan to drive and meet us on location, the meeting point is at the Silfra car park, in Thingvellir National Park.
GPS: 64°15’23.508″N 21°6’58.676″W
Note that the National Park charges a small parking fee of 500 ISK.
We kindly ask you to be at the Silfra car park 15 Minutes prior to your tour starts.
No. Unfortunately, glasses don’t create a seal between your face and the mask. We recommend wearing contact lenses instead.
You are not able to participate in the snorkelling tour if you are pregnant.
Yes, the tour is directed in English and therefore you need to be able to understand English to participate.
Some snorkelling tours match with a dive tour, and then you will be in the same area at the same time. You will, however, be in separate groups with separate guides, and won’t be in the water exactly at the same time.
You need to be more than 12 years old. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian booked on the same tour.
You need to know how to swim independently. Because of the drysuit sizes, there are height-weight limitations. The minimum height is 150 cm, and the minimum weight is 45 kg. The maximum height is 200 cm, and the maximum weight is 120 kg.
All participants must have read and followed directions in the Snorkeling in Silfra Handbook.
Yes, you must be able to swim independently without a lifejacket, and you must be comfortable in the water.
When snorkelling in Iceland you will be wearing a dry suit, hood and gloves made of neoprene, along with fins, mask and snorkel. This equipment will make it not only possible but also very enjoyable, to stay in the water despite the low temperature. It is a fantastic experience.
No, you don’t need any previous experience to snorkel, but it is important that you can swim independently and that you are comfortable in the water.
Please wear or bring some long underwear and some warm socks. Wool or fleece is the best material to wear. You will be wearing your long underwear and warm socks under the dry suit.
We provide dry suits so that your body stays dry, and you will also wear undergarments to keep you warm. We use high-quality neoprene dry suits from Waterproof International and O´Three. But it is good to know that there is always a small risk that water can enter the dry suit. This is not dangerous but can feel a little cold, so we recommend you bring a spare set of clothes and a towel, just in case. Kindly note that your hands and face will get wet, which is completely normal and not actually that cold.
We provide an undergarment and neoprene dry suit from Waterproof and 0’Three. We also provide a neoprene hood and neoprene wet gloves to protect your head and hands from the cold. You will also be given fins, mask and snorkel.
Our client to guide ratio is one guide for every 6 snorkelers.
The water temperature is 2-4 degrees C (35-37 degrees F) all year round. The water comes from the Langjökull glacier which keeps it nice and cool, and very refreshing!
We use high quality neoprene dry suits from Waterproof International and O´Three.
Yes, there are 2 toilet facilities at Silfra. However, we don’t recommend that you use them for changing, as it can result in long queues.
Sometimes fish venture into Silfra from Þingvallavatn lake, but they will quickly swim back, as they don’t like chilly glacier waters. However, there is plenty of colorful seaweed, including a bright green variety known as “troll hair”, which makes the fissure unlike anything on the surface.
The cave systems in Silfra can be up to 60 m deep. However, your dive in Silfra will be from about 7 to 12 m, and the maximum diving depth that is permitted is 18 m.