Please note: This itinerary only can be seen as an example. The complete tour depends on the weather and ice situation. It’s possible that plans need to be changed during the tour!
Day before the tour: Arrival* in Keflavik. Transfer to Reykjavik and overnight stay at the hotel*. Depending on arrival time, a city tour or a visit of the thermal bath “Blue Lagoon” is possible.
Day 1: We will visit the most popular dive site in Iceland: Silfra. The dive site is located in the Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, about a 45-minute drive from Reykjavík. On our way the guide will point out interesting facts about the history and geology of the park.
At Þingvallavatn (Lake Thingvallavatn), we will take one dive through Silfra. It is your first chance of enjoying the fantastic visibility in Silfra, and consciously experiencing the awe of diving in a fissure that separates the North American and Eurasian continental plates.
When we arrive at the dive site you will receive a detailed briefing about Silfra, including the plan and procedure before gearing up and walking to the fissure. We will take a few steps down the ladder and make contact with the world’s clearest water. It is so pure you can even drink it!
The slight current formed by the underground wells will make our dive in the fissure an easy one.
After this amazing dive we will drive up north (about 380 km) towards the second-largest town of Iceland, Akureyri, where we will spend the night at the very cozy Skjaldarvík Guesthouse.
Day 2: In northern Iceland, not far from the country’s second-largest town, Akureyri, in the middle of the Eyjafjördur fjord are a couple of very special dive sites. At a depth of about 70 m, a hot spring releases hot mineral-rich water into the ocean. As soon as the minerals that dissolved in the hot fresh water come in contact with the cold ocean water, they react and solidify.
Throughout the last 10,000 years or so this process has created a 55 m tall chimney that reaches up to 15 m below the surface. Strýtan has been a protected nature reserve since 2001 and is subject to extensive research and observation. Apart from huge quantities of mineral-rich hot water, visible as an amalgam of haloclines and thermoclines, divers may see large schools of pollock swimming up and down the chimney. On the opposite side of the fjord lies another, yet smaller, geothermal chimney, aptly referred to as “Little Chimney.” While much smaller than its counterpart across the bay, “Little Chimney” is many divers’ favorite ocean site in Iceland. The reasons are many, one of them being the fact that this is probably one of the world’s best places to observe wolf fish in their natural habitat. As many as 15 specimens have been spotted on a single dive!
Other highlights include a plethora of invertebrates, from giant sea cucumbers and anemones to nudibranchs and the tiny, yet funny-looking, skeleton shrimp. On both of those sites, divers can explore the thermophilic flora and fauna that have developed and settled around the geothermal chimneys and feel the hot water that wells out of them.
We will complete two dives in these stunning underwater phenomena by RIB (rigid inflatable boat), weather permitting, which is almost always the case.
After diving we will have time to relax in the nice accommodation Skjaldarvík with hot-tub and bar.
Day 3: On this day we will visit the “Silfra of the North”: Nesgjá. This is a continuation of the same continental fissure that includes Silfra and is another exciting freshwater fissure with crystal-clear water. We will make our way through Húsavík, reported to be Europe’s whale-watching capital.
A scenic two-hour drive from your guesthouse, Nesgjá is a result of tectonic movement and the divergence of the Eurasian and North American continental plates. Similar to Silfra but different in many ways, Nesgjá is quite shallow but amazingly beautiful. The adjacent lagoon is huge and you can see much farther than 100 m. Sometimes we spot arctic char, a type of salmon, in the fissure.
We will also visit Litla á, the 17°C geothermal river, for a snorkeling expedition, where you will be mesmerized by the dancing volcanic sands and multi-colored sediments leaping from the bottom. Heated water erupts from below the earth’s surface creating beautiful designs and ripples in the riverbed while you drift along the surface above. It will make even the most experienced divers wonder if it is indeed possible to have nitrogen narcosis while snorkeling!
After the dive and snorkeling, we will make our way to Goðafoss, known as the “Waterfall of the Gods,” and visit the amazing Mývatn area for some sightseeing of craters and pseudo-craters, a hot spring area with steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud pots, referred to as the “devil’s kitchen”… and more.
After this long but thrilling day we will retire to our guesthouse in Skjaldarvík where you can enjoy a delicious Icelandic meal and relax in preparation for the next day’s diving.
Day 4: We return to Eyjafjordur fjord where we dived the chimneys on Day 2. This time we will aim for either the “French gardens” or the “Wall,” both of which are amazing geological structures with an abundance of marine life, including red fish, lump suckers, and wolf fish.They are also known for their colorful display of anemones and rocks covered with algae in shades of pink and purple you did not even know existed.
A third option would be to revisit one of the chimneys from Day 2. This depends on the weather conditions and the gusto of the group. Again we will be diving off an RIB boat a short boat ride away from the small fishing town of Hjalteyri with its interesting history of Iceland’s herring-fishing era.
After the dive, we will have lunch in Akureyri as we de-gas for a couple of hours before the scenic drive back to Reykjavik where we will spend the night.
Day 5: On our last day in Iceland, we will pick you up from your hotel in Reykjavík and take (if weather permits) the “scenic route” to Þingvellir National Park. It takes us past the geothermal power plant Nesjavellir, which supplies Reykjavík with a large part of its hot water.
After the dive we will have a steaming cup of hot chocolate and then head to the spouting hot spring area known as “Geysir.” Located in Haukadalur, it is the biggest geyser in Europe and truly impressive.
Your guide will show you around and tell you some interesting facts and stories about the spouting geysers, “Strokkur” and “Geysir,” as well as about the area. Strokkur is very reliable and erupts about once every 8 minutes.
You will have time to grab a sandwich at the snack shop of the Geysir Center and visit the multimedia show and souvenir shop. Our next stop is the most photographed waterfall in Iceland: Gullfoss!
It is a magnificent natural heritage site and should not be missed by any visitor to Iceland. Tumbling down a deep gorge, it has a number of great places for taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of natural Iceland. Even in winter, it is so powerful that it keeps flowing although it also freezes in parts. You will learn about the history behind this waterfall and the geological features that created the canyon.
After a day full of impressive experiences and views, we will drive you back to Reykjavík and you will surely have no problems falling asleep.
Day 6: Now it is time for the second part of this unique adventure! By propeller airplane*, you will fly from Reykjavik to Greenland. If the visibility is good, you might see whales and, when getting closer to the Greenlandic coast, ice floes and icebergs. Arrival at Kulusuk airport (situated on a small island) and transfer by boat or helicopter to Tasiilaq, the capital of East Greenland with about 2,000 inhabitants, 6 kilometers of road, about 80 cars and a few hundred sled dogs.
After bringing the luggage to the accommodation, we will take you on a guided “city” walk in the afternoon. The local museum has collected many artefacts from the area. The first Europeans arrived here only less than 130 years ago, so it is hardly surprising that their modern lifestyle clashed with old local traditions. A small workshop provides insight into how the Inuit craftspeople create the famous (and a bit scary) tupilaks and other small sculptures.
If the weather is good we might also take a walk to the flower valley – and then maybe round off the day with a beer at the local pub?
Day 7: Our dive boats are built in Scandinavia and made for Arctic conditions. After breakfast, we will start on a day tour by boat and search for an interesting iceberg. Of course, you will get a briefing about safe diving around icebergs so that you will be ready to safely explore the mighty ice sculptures under water. 90% of the ice masses are hidden below the surface and have thus been seen by hardly anyone. It is an unforgettable experience to become one of the very few divers who have seen an iceberg underwater. In addition, you never know what kind of ice structures you might find – every iceberg is individually sculpted by nature, and due to the fact that icebergs are continually melting down and breaking apart, no one else will ever dive your iceberg again!
We will offer two dives. There are free soft drinks, snacks, and tea on board. You should not forget to bring your camera. The landscape is amazing and there are many photo motives above and below the water. By the way, the water temperature to expect is -1 to +2°C (30 to 35°F) – so after these dives you really can call yourself a “Cold Water Diver.”
The second dive might be at a wall with kelp forest that reaches right from the surface down to about 20 m (60 ft) and shelters soft corals, anemones, and an unexpectedly rich and varied Arctic marine life.
Depending on the weather situation, we might offer a whale safari in the evening where you can also snorkel-dive with humpback whales. You can also just stay in the boat and enjoy the evening and take pictures: whales and icebergs together on the same photo – could be worse!
Day 8: Your second diving day in Greenland. If the weather is good we will visit the Sermilik fjord, a fantastic ice fjord which produces about 10% of all icebergs in Greenland. The fjord reaches about 80 km into the land and is surrounded by different glaciers. The further our boat takes us into the fjord, the more ice covers the water surface. Here we freely choose “our very own” icebergs. It is usually an easy job for the skipper and the dive guide to find an iceberg that is safe but also offers unique structures for an unforgettable dive!
You will see white ice, blue ice, black ice, and clear ice. Often the blue icebergs are the most interesting dive sites.
There might also be canyons, tunnels, and caves in the icebergs. Underwater photographers and filmmakers will find many motives. However, visibility varies inside the fjord due to meltwater.
There is also a good chance to see seals, humpback whales, fin whales, and dolphins in the fjord. After a long day on the boat and two unique dives, we will have a good dinner at the hotel.
Day 9: Day tour by boat to the beautiful Knud Rasmussen Glacier in the north. On our way we will stop at an abandoned US military camp from WW II. You will see old trucks and other remains that were simply left in the Arctic at the end of the war. It is hard to believe that up to 1,000 airplanes per month once landed here and were immediately refueled. There was even a cinema for the waiting pilots – in the middle of nowhere!
The Knud Rasmussen Glacier produces just the right amount of ice to allow our local skipper to bring us close to the ice wall. The last meters we can walk at the fjord shore. We might even see huge parts of the glacier break off and turn into new icebergs? The glacier also produces beautiful blue ice. You will find photo motives all around you!
The boat tour is an adventure in itself with sea birds resting on icebergs, seals, mighty mountains, ice fields, and ice in different colors. We often see fin whales on this tour. The fin whale is the second-largest creature, after the blue whale, to ever inhabit our planet.
Day 10: After breakfast we will bring you by boat or helicopter to Kulusuk airport. After a short boat tour or flight (with great photo possibilities!) you will arrive at the main airport of East Greenland on the island Kulusuk and fly* back to Iceland where you possibly will spend the night at a hotel*.
Day after the tour*: Last travel day for those required to stay in Iceland overnight*.
*Flights to Iceland and Greenland as well as hotel stays and transfers on Iceland before/after the tour are not included in the tour price! Important: the flight bookings are a free service on our part. For delays or cancellations, any additional costs, etc., we assume no liability under our terms and conditions!