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Lava Caving, Snorkeling & Northern Lights

Snorkeling in Silfra, Lava Caving, and the Northern Lights

Explore one of the longest lava caves in Iceland. Then discover the depths of Silfra Fissure, where underwater visibility stretches more than 328 ft (100 m). Finally, cap your day off with a breathtaking Northern Lights show!

Caving Northern-Lights Snorkeling
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This adrenaline-filled combo tour is perfect for nature lovers. Start your day at one of the oldest lava caves in Iceland, Raufarhólshellir. Continue to explore the crevasses of Icelandic terrain on a snorkeling tour of Silfra Fisssure, rated one of the top 5 activities in the world by TripAdvisor. Then journey into the Icelandic backcountry for the magnificent Northern Lights!

Our guides know the best spots to see the aurora. They’ll snap free pictures of you with the Northern Lights in the background on this tour package.

  • Availability

    Sept. - Apr.

  • Duration

    ~13 hours

  • Duration Overwrite

  • Level

    Moderate

  • Pickup

    Yes

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    12 years

  • Departs from

    Reykjavik

  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    31.990 25.592 ISK

Tour highlights
Small Group Experience
Silfra Fissure
Þingvellir (Thingvellir National Park)
Snorkeling Tour in Silfra
Volcano Cave Tour in Iceland
Northern Lights Tour and photos in Iceland
Included
Pick-up & drop off from Reykjavík
Certified PADI Dive guide / Divemaster
Expert Caving Guide
All Necessary Snorkeling & Caving Gear
All Necessary Safety Equipment
Silfra Admission Fee
Hot Chocolate & Cookies
Free WiFi on Board Your Bus
Northern Lights Photos taken by your guide

Your journey into the depths of the Earth starts when we pick you up from your chosen location in Reykjavik. We then take you on a short drive through the scenic Icelandic backcountry towards Raufarhólshellir, one of the longest lava tunnels in Iceland.

This exquisite lava tube tunnel was formed during the Leitahraun eruption some 5200 years ago. Walk along paths formed by piping hot lava and discover colorful minerals, stalactites, and, in winter, icicles hanging over your head!

Raufarhólshellir Lava Cave is a whopping 0.87 mi (1.4 km) long, around 32 – 98 ft (10 – 30 m) wide, and 32 ft (10 m) high, so you’ll have plenty of space to walk around and take breathtaking photographs!

Next, we’ll grab lunch and head toward Þingvellir National Park. Spend your afternoon at Silfra Fissure in the heart of Thingvellir National Park.  Silfra has been rated as one of the best freshwater snorkeling sites in the world.

Once on site, our guides will help you get into your dry suit and all other safety equipment, like goggles, breathing tubes, and fins. The guides are all PADI certified, so you can enjoy your snorkeling experience without any worries. Once everyone is suited up, we’ll enter the underwater world of Silfra. 

Snorkeling between two tectonic plates should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. The underwater visibility in Silfra stretches around 328 ft (100 m). While the crevasse doesn’t look like much on the outside, once you enter the depths it will take your breath away. The stunning ridges, crevasses, and unique rock formations will make you never want to return to land. 

After your exhilarating snorkeling adventure, we’ll take you back to Reykjavik to have dinner and relax before the Northern Lights hunt begins! At around 8.30 p.m. we’ll pick you up again and drive you far away from the city lights. 

The aurora is most visible away from light pollution and under the starry Arctic sky. While it’s almost impossible to predict exactly where the aurora will show up, our experienced guides know how to interpret the latest forecasts and will determine the best viewing areas on the spot. Your journey might take you to Thingvellir, Reykjanes, Hvalfjörður, or any other place far from artificial light. 

The Northern Lights are only visible in places close to the Arctic Circle, making Iceland one of the best spots to see them. Once on site, look upward to see saturated hues of green, yellow, and, on rare occasions, blue, rose, and red dancing in the night sky.


Pick-up Information

We will pick you up and drop you off at your chosen location in Reykjavík. The pick-up time is 8 a.m. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes, so your patience is greatly appreciated! For the Northern Lights adventure, we’ll pick you up again from your chosen location in Reykjavik at 9.30 p.m. (September, March, April) or at 8.30 p.m. (October – February).

Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.


Practical Information

What to wear: thermal long underwear, warm and waterproof outdoor clothing, hiking boots, gloves, warm socks, a change of clothing (just in case). It’s good to have a tripod for your camera on the Northern Lights hunt.

Don’t worry if you don’t own all of these items. Some can be rented from us upon booking.


Requirements for snorkeling:

You need to feel comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Weight limit: 45-120 kg

Height limit: 150 cm -200 cm

Age Limit: 12 years old minimum. Guardian’s approval needed for minors under 18.

Please note that pregnant women are not able to participate.


Please note

The success of the Northern Lights tour depends on weather conditions and we reserve the right to cancel the Northern Lights part of the tour before 6:15 p.m. on the day of the tour. If this happens, we’ll refund your money for the Northern Lights tour. If the tour does go ahead and no Northern Lights are seen, we will offer you the chance to join another evening’s departure free of charge depending on availability.

How is it best to be ready for a pick-up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.

Here you should wait for your guide.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.

After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).

Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.

Can the itinerary for the tour change?

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures tour?

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.

All of our tours are guided in English.

Can the guide advise if I am eligible for rescheduling the tour and/or a refund?

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

What type of power outlets are used in Iceland? Do I need to bring an adapter?

The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.

How are the tours rated in terms of difficulty?

Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.

For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.

 

How does carbon offsetting work?

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

What equipment do you provide for the lava tube caving trip?

We provide you with a headlight and a helmet.

What should I wear on a lava caving tour in Iceland?

Like always in Iceland, it’s best to dress in layers. Warm layers closest to you preferably wool/thermal underwear, pants sweater and on top waterproof outdoor clothing. We also recommend that you wear good hiking boots and gloves. Jeans have proven to be a bad choice.

What is the best way to prepare for the tour?

All relevant information for the tour can be found in our snorkelling handbook.

Can I bring my camera on my snorkeling tour?

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.

Where is the meeting point for the snorkeling tours at Þingvellir?

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.

Do you offer photos from the snorkeling tour?

Our guides normally have an underwater camera and usually, take photos during the tour. If you are interested in photos please let your guide know before you go into the water.

You can then buy the photos from your guide at the end of the tour, for a price of 2990 ISK, which includes all the photos from that day. Kindly note that photos cannot be guaranteed. Our customer’s safety and wellbeing is our first priority, and therefore the guide will focus on snorkelers as a priority when in the water and will be taking photos when everyone is comfortable.

Can I wear glasses during the snorkeling?

No. Unfortunately, glasses don’t create a seal between your face and the mask. We recommend wearing contact lenses instead.

I am pregnant, can I participate in the snorkeling tour?

You are not able to participate in the snorkelling tour if you are pregnant.

Do I need to be able to understand and communicate in English in order to participate in the tour?

Yes, the tour is directed in English and therefore you need to be able to understand English to participate.

Can we do snorkeling and diving at the same time?

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.

What are the requirements for snorkeling in Silfra?

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 dry suit 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

The minimum height is:
  • 150 cm (4’9)
The minimum weight is:
  • 45 kg (99 lbs)

The maximum height is:
  • 200 cm (6’5)
The maximum weight is:
  • 120 kg (265 lbs)
Do I need to know how to swim?

Yes, you must be able to swim independently without a lifejacket, and you must be comfortable in the water.

What is snorkelling in Iceland like?

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.

Do I need previous experience to snorkel?

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.

What clothing should I wear?

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.

Will I stay dry in the water?

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.

What equipment do you provide?

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.

How many snorkelers will be on each tour?

Our client to guide ratio is one guide for every 6 snorkelers.

What is the temperature in Silfra Fissure?

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!

What kind of dry suits do you provide?

We use high quality neoprene dry suits from Waterproof International and O´Three.

Are there toilet facilities in Silfra?

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.

Is there any life in Silfra?

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.

How deep is Silfra fissure?

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.

Will I definitely see Northern Lights on the tour?

The Northern Lights are natural phenomena and we unfortunately cannot promise you will see them. Their appearance depends upon atmospheric and weather conditions.

For more information on the Northen Lights, please have a look at our Northern Lights information.

What are the best camera settings for photographing the Northern Lights?

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one simple answer to this question.

There isn’t just one single setting for your camera that ensures great photos.  But if you have manual options, you are probably best served with experimenting with various combinations of ISO, aperture, and exposure settings. As a rule of thumb, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed at between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have proven effective.

A good thing to keep in mind, ISO setting between 800 and 3200, aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6, and shutter speed between 15 seconds and 30 seconds have given great results.

Different combinations may give very different results. Higher ISO setting will allow you to capture faster exposures, but the downside to this might be for example grainier images.

If the shutter speed is above 15 seconds it will result in a slight star movement.

Wider angle lenses are usually more versatile in low light settings, but longer lenses give you different options for compositions. Make sure that you remove all lens filters, as they may distort images. You will probably get the best results with manual setting for infinite focal length

What if the Northern Lights tour goes ahead and no Northern Lights are seen?

A refund is not available if the northern lights tour goes ahead and no northern lights are seen but we do offer you the chance to join a Northern Lights Minibus tour free of charge.

Please go to My Adventures to re-book your tour.

What are my options if my Northern Lights tour is cancelled?

When Northern Lights tours are cancelled it’s usually due to unfavourable weather conditions.

In that case, your options will be to:

1. Reschedule for another day.

2. Find another tour to do and use the deposit for it.

3. Get fully refunded.

Please go to My Adventures to re-book your tour or contact us by phone +354-562-7000.

How do I know if the Northern Lights tour is on for the evening?

Like you might have heard, the northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. You can check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 pm the latest. If the tour is cancelled, you will receive an email from us.

If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance to see the lights.

Will my guide take pictures for me?

Yes, the guide will take a photo of you with the northern lights behind you. These can be single or group photo’s and free of charge.

What months can you see the northern lights?

The Northern Lights season is said to be from late August until mid-April. However, if you want to increase your chances of seeing them, it is best to wait until the clear winter months of mid-September until March.

Can you see the Northern Lights in Reykjavik?

If luck and weather are on your side, then you will be able to see the Aurora Borealis above the inviting streets of Reykjavik. Whether you see the lights or not are dependant on two different factors. The first being the weather. If the sky is clear, no clouds, then you are halfway there to seeing the astonishing spectacle that is the Northern Lights (although light pollution can sometimes be a problem). Increased solar activity is the second half so, if these two merge together you may well be able to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavik.

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Special Deal

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DISCOUNTS WORK FOR BOOKINGS ANY TRAVEL TIME

Special Offer ends 31.12.2019 at midnight (GMT)

Promotional code: 2019DEC

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Price from: 31.990 25.592 ISK per person.

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