The North: Strýtan, Nesgja and Litlaá.
Litlaá means Little River. It’s unusual to find a 17°C river just south of the Arctic Circle, but thanks to the geothermal activity it’s there. At Litlaá you can snorkel instead of dive. You can see volcanic sands and multicolored sediments leaping from the bottom. Beautiful design and ripples in the riverbed are visible, caused by heated water eruptions from below the bottom.
Nesgja is a lovely fresh water fissure. With its crystal clear water after it’s dripping through porous lava rock, the water has been filtered perfectly. This lagoon is huge and the visibility is incredible. You can see further than 100 meters.
Strýtan is a different and unique dive spot. Strýtan is located in the middle of the Eyjafjörður and it has a depth of about 70 meters. You have the big Strýtan and the little Strýtan. Strýtan is worlds only known hydrothermal vents where you can scuba dive. Normally these vents are located thousands of meters deep, only ROV’s and submarine can reach it. Strýtan is a ‘white smoker’ in a form of a cylindrical chimney or cone. There are two types of vents: black smokers and white smokers. White smokers release cooler water. If you want to dive at Strýtan you need an excellent dry suit buoyancy control, a bright torch, UW camera and a cool head underwater. It´s advisable to be at a good fitness level, because of the strong currents at the surface. It´s a dive spot for advanced divers.
You can dive all year round here, but the visibility is better in the winter. In the summer there is more marine life to see. At Strýtan you can see wolfish and large schools of cod and Pollock.
The main locations in the Southwest are Silfra, its sibling Davíðsgjá, Gullfoss, Geysir, Garður, Kleifarvatn, Bjarnagjá, The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar).
Silfra and Davíðsgjá are both located at Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is on the World Heritage list (UNESCO) for its cultural values. The only two places where it’s permitted to dive at Þingvellir National Park are Silfra and Davíðsgjá.
The Silfra Ravine is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the world. Silfra is a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents. The ravine is a part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which runs through the middle of Iceland. The visibility at Silfra is over a 100 meters with an extremely cold temperature of 2-4°C. The widths of the ravines range from 1-20 meters. Its deepest point is 50 meters; the average depth of the site is 15 meters. There is not much marine life to see at Silfra, but the dive will be unforgettable.
Davíðsgjá is in the north-eastern part of Lake Þingvallavatn Davíðsgjá is less famous, but beloved by local divers. The water is usually warmer than Silfra. In some opinions, Davíðsgjá is the darker and wilder sibling of Silfra.
Gullfoss and Geysir are two popular dive sites. Gullfoss means Golden Waterfall and is a powerfull waterfall like the name says. Geysir is a geothermal area that contains two active geysers and many boiling hot pots.
Garður is located at the end of the Reykjanes peninsula. Garður means Garden, an appropriate name for this dive site. Garður contains over 42 species of marine algae. There are also a lot of fishes to see here.
Kleifarvatn is a large lake located nearby Reykjavik. The landscape around this lake is volcanic.While diving you can find underwater hot springs. You can even feel the vibrations caused by a large crater in the center of the hot springs.
Bjarnagjá is located nearby Garður and Kleifarvatn. Bjarnagjá is an 18 meters deep lava ravine. The water temperature is influenced by the salinity of the sea. Mostly the water is fresh groundwater.
The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) are 15 islands, only one has a human population. All these islands are formed by volcanic eruptions under water. Under water you can find a similar scene. There is a swim-through cave, a huge underwater arch and walls covered with coral.
There are more places you can go for diving, such as the Westfjords in the northwest of Iceland. In the east you can find El Grillo, it’s a wreck from World War II. Inland in the northeast there is Askja.