We had the opportunity to go on the Snorkeling and Golden Circle day trip with Extreme Iceland (https://www.extremeiceland.is/en/activity-tours-iceland/snorkeling/silfra-and-golden-circle). Our tour guide was kind, upbeat, and full of interesting information. Though she was not an Icelandic native, she was able to answer all kinds of questions and provide insightful information about the country and its people. What made this trip truly incredible and unique was the opportunity to actually do something in addition to sightseeing.
The day starts out on the Golden Circle visiting the beautiful Gullfoss Waterfall. We then traveled to Strokkur and witnessed the magnificence of geysers. We’d never seen anything like this, water just naturally, unpredictably shooting up from the ground. It was also entertaining to hear the symphony of hundreds of camera clicks at a time positioned to capture the moment perfectly. We also happened to catch the sun rising here with the geyser shooting water up in front of it.
Next up, snorkeling!! Even just the idea of snorkeling in the middle of winter in Iceland is exciting let alone actually doing it!! This is not just any snorkel in freezing cold water, you are actually swimming between the tectonic plates of Europe and North America in crystal clear glacial water. It is absolutely freezing, so be prepared for that by wearing warm base layers and really just accepting that you will be freezing, wet, and partially numb. The bus arrives at the snorkeling site where a team of snorkeling instructors are waiting to help you get your gear on and guide you through the water. You definitely need to be comfortable swimming and I would not recommend taking children on this tour.
While we all dream of getting that Instagram photo floating between the tectonic plates, level set your expectations prior to going. Our fingers were far too cold to operate a phone! For those that were able to take photos on iPhones in waterproof cases, the pictures turned out very blurry.
When we got out of the water and were walking back to the bus, a woman approached us with a selfie stick asking if she could take a picture with us, the kids crazy enough to snorkel in freezing temperatures! We agreed to and asked her to also take one of just the two of us. We gave her an email address, and that was the only way we were able to get a picture.
Extreme Iceland did have underwater cameras, but neither of us ever saw the pictures. Not sure how to obtain those!
After the snorkeling we headed to Thingvellir National Park to get a glimpse of the view over the park just before it was too dark to see. This was the first time we saw how contradicting Iceland dusk can be… despite being dark the sky reflects some sort of bright and electric colors.
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