← Close menu

Diving Safety & Requirements

Iceland underwater diving safety precautions

Please read the following to understand the safety regulations and equipment necessary on each diving tour.
View our selection of Diving Tours


SAFETY

Rest assured that all of our diving guides are highly skilled. Each Silfra Diving Guide is certified by PADI, ranging from dive master to IDC staff instructor. We run our center under DAN (Divers Alert Network) Insurance in cooperation with PADI. All Arctic Dive guides are First Aid Certified through EFR or HSE First Aid at Work.


REQUIREMENTS

General: You must be at least 18 years old and understand instructions in English.

Fitness: Diving in the Silfra fissure involves a moderate level of exercise.  You need to be able to walk about 400 meters with full drysuit equipment on.  

Entrance/Exit: Because of the geographical layout of Silfra, participants must walk in full gear about 150 meters to the entry point and later 400 meters from the exit stairs back to where the tour started.  

The Suit: The dry suit has seals on the neck and wrists that stop water from getting in, a good thing when diving in glacial water. These need to be quite tight and if you are claustrophobic this might be a bit uncomfortable.  Divers have to supply their sizes of suit upon booking, to ensure we bring the right equipment for you.

You will get wet: Participants wear a neoprene hood and neoprene gloves. This means that the heads and hands are exposed to the water.  You might have already realized but we would still like to note that your face, hair and hands will get wet during this activity.  

Weather: Outside temperatures in Iceland can be quite cold. We didn’t name it Iceland for no reason. Note that you will spend up to 5 hours outside on a diving tour. Dress accordingly and make sure you have warm thermals, winter coat, hat and gloves during the winter.  

What Not to Bring: There are no locker rooms at Silfra. Please do not bring any valuable items that you don’t need for the tour. Furthermore, participants cannot wear any types of jewelry in the water, as sharp items can break the dry suit.

Don’t Bring Glasses: Since you are wearing a dive mask to see underwater, there can be nothing in the way of the seal to keep them from filling up with water so you can not wear your glasses underneath the mask. You will have to go without them, so please wear contact lenses or bring your own mask with prescription.

Certification: Drysuit certification or logbook with 10 logged drysuit dives in the last two years is required. All dives are performed in a dry suit. You must have dived in a dry suit within the last 2 years before diving Silfra.

No dry suit experience? Check out our 2-day package including the PADI Dry Suit specialty course on day 1, and our Silfra dive tour on day 2.

You are not allowed to dive or snorkel in Silfra if you have or have had any of the following conditions:  

  • Inability to perform moderate exercise (swimming 500m and walking 600m)  
  • Current or previous heart disease, heart surgery or heart attack  
  • Current lung disease  
  • Previous pneumothorax (collapsed lung), chest disease or chest surgery  
  • Head injury with loss of consciousness during recent years  
  • Thrombocytopenia or other blood disorders  
  • Colostomy or ileostomy  
  • Epilepsy or conditions resulting in sudden unconsciousness  
  • Obesity

If you have any of the following conditions, you are allowed to dive or snorkel Silfra if you can provide a doctor’s letter before the tour:  

  • Higher or lower blood pressure than normal  
  • Type 1 diabetes  
  • Asthma (mild to severe)

Note: – Pregnant women are not allowed to dive or snorkel in Silfra.


EQUIPMENT

If you intend to dive at Silfra, you are required to bring the following equipment:

  • Base Layer, Thin thermals in wool, fleece or synthetic (no cotton)
  • warm socks in wool, fleece, or neoprene
  • A spare set of clothes and socks for after the activity in case you get wet  
  • A towel (remember your hair, face and hands will get wet)  
  • Outdoor clothing suitable for the current weather conditions  
  • Voucher  
  • If necessary, a doctor’s letter (see “Requirements” above)
  • Proof of Open water and Dry Suit certification, or Open Water certification and a logbook showing that you have completed a minimum of 10 logged dry suit dives from within the last 2 years. The logbook needs to be in English so your dive guide can read it.

We will provide you with the following necessary gear. However, you are welcome to bring and use your own equipment, as long as your equipment is suitable for cold water diving.

  • Undersuit, manufactured by Waterproof or Santi, made with Nylon Taslan
  • Drysuit, manufactured by Waterproof or O’Three, made with Neoprene
  • Cold water Regulators, by Apeks and Dive Rite, specified for cold water diving
  • BCD Manufacturer, by AP diving and Tusa
  • Weight harness – Our guides will help you find the right weight for you
  • 12-liter tanks, made of steel
  • Hood and Gloves, Waterproof or 0’Three, made of Neoprene
  • Mask Variety of manufacturers and models. Kindly note you cannot wear glasses under the mask. Contact lenses work fine.
  • Fins, made by Poseidon, Apeks, Mares, made of Rubber for Diving, Rubber or plastic for snorkeling.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE

Read this Handbook for diving in Silfra before your tour.