Black & Blue – Caving and Snorkeling Tour

PARTNER TOUR – HANDPICKED ESPECIALLY FOR YOU

A great combination tour of two magical underground activities: Snorkeling in Silfra and exploring a lava tube cave.

Snorkeling in Silfra is a one of a kind experience. A fissure filled with crystal clear glacial water on the ridge between continents. Before you dive into the heavenly blue water, you’ll go into another kind of underground exploration, as you go caving in a lava tube.

You don’t have to be a certified diver to go snorkeling in Silfra, but you have to be in good physical condition to participate in this tour and sign a mandatory medical release form.

About

Caving

The tour starts by exploring a lava tube cave. Depending on the season, either Leiðarendi cave or Gjábakkahellir cave will be your destination. Both caves are typical lava tubes which give you a great insight into how the volcanic activities have formed Iceland.

Before you enter the cave you will put on the necessary safety equipment – a helmet and a headlight. Be prepared to be awed by the picturesque lava patterns on the walls of the cave when you enter the underworld. The cave gets tight in some spaces and you will have to do some crouching so people with back problems should be aware.

After around an hour and a half you will emerge from the cave in time for lunch. The bus will take you to a food court where you can buy lunch – or you could pack your own lunch. After the lunch break the bus will then drive you to your second part of the trip, the Þingvellir national park, where you’ll have your snorkeling adventure.

The Snorkeling Experience

Medical release form

Please note: All snorkeling participants must read and sign the “Snorkeling Silfra Medical Statement” and, if necessary, follow the directions regarding a doctor’s clearance for the tour.

You will find a link on your ticket after booking that you can follow to take care of this online.

Upon arrival, your guide will assist you with your dry suit and snorkeling equipment to ensure that you will be comfortable during your tour. It’s a good idea to wear thermal underwear underneath the dry suit, but you cannot wear much more as the dry suit is (and needs to be) pretty tight.

Then your snorkeling can begin as you walk to Silfra. This is bound to be a once in a lifetime event since you get to snorkel in a fissure filled with crystal clear glacial water, formed when two tectonic plates ripped apart. This glacial water also happens to mean that the water is pretty cold and although you’ll be pretty well covered in your dry suit, hood and mask, parts of your face will be in direct contact with the 2°C cold water. Although the idea of that might feel uncomfortable, the unique experience of floating in this unbelievably beautiful environment will quickly make you forget any discomfort.

Pick up and transportation

The tour starts with a pickup in Reykjavík. Note that since this tour is a combination tour, pickup is not optional. The tour starts by going to a cave, but exactly which cave depends on the season, so meeting the tour on location is not an option. Pickup starts 09:00 and can take up to half an hour.

Pick up is offered from all major hotels, hostels and guesthouses in Reykjavík for a small fee. If you are staying in an AirBnB apartment or a hotel that is not included in the pickup list, it’s best if you find the next approved pickup placeand book your pickup from there.

If you are not sure what is the nearest pickup place, just be in touch and we’ll help you choose

Clothing and equipment

You will get the necessary safety equipment on location, both for the caving (helmets and headlights) and the snorkeling (dry suit, goggles, gloves, snorkel etc.). Note that you cannot wear glasses underneath the goggles, so you’ll either have leave your glasses or wear contact lenses.

For the caving part you should wear hiking boots, as the ground in the cave can be rough, as well as something warm and waterproof. Note that even if you are inside a cave, some wetness will be seeping from the cave ceiling. Gloves are also recommended. If you need, you can rent boots and waterproof jacket and pants from the tour operator, just remember to do that with at least 24 hours’ notice.

For the snorkeling part it’s good to wear thermal underwear and to bring an extra set in case it gets wet. If you want, you can rent a waterproof digital camera to be able to capture some of Silfra’s underwater magic.

Cancellations

Cancellations

  • Up to 48 hours prior to the tour departure time, 90% will be refunded.
  • Within 48 hours of the tour departure time, no refund is available.

A minimum of 48 hours’ notice of cancellation is required for a 90% refund. If cancellation is made after these time limits pass no refund is given.

10% of the price of your trip is non-refundable, this percentage reflects the cost of booking and preparing your trip.

Please see here for our full terms and conditions

Snorkeling Silfra Medical Statement

Please read carefully

Snorkeling in Silfra is a demanding activity that can lead to overexertion and exhaustion. It is also important to understand that exposure to near freezing point glacial melting water includes potential hazards. To minimize the risks involved in this activity, our partner requests that every potential participant reads and fills out this form which contents are as follows:

Please be aware that there have been serious incidents at Silfra involving participants in the medical risk groups identified in this release. This form is to be taken seriously and a full YES or NO answer must be given to each of the medical conditions listed on the right-hand side.

Please be aware of the following conditions related to snorkeling in Silfra:

  • Participants wear a tight and constricting full body suit. The suit is heavy and may make walking difficult.
  • Because of the geographical layout of Silfra, participants must walk in full gear about 150 meters to the entry point and later 350 meters from the exit stairs back to where the tour started.
  • The suit has seals on the neck and wrists that stop water from getting in. These can be tight and sometimes an additional rubber strap needs to be worn around the neck.
  • In-water duration is 30-40 minutes and the water temperature is 2 Celsius. For this reason, participants should have eaten breakfast or lunch before the activity starts.
  • Participants wear a neoprene hood and semi-dry neoprene gloves. This means that the heads and hands are exposed to the water. Part of the face will not be covered by the hood and therefore be in direct contact with the water.
  • There is a slight current in Silfra and participants must be comfortable swimming against it during the last part of the tour.
  • Whenever entering the water there is a small chance of the suit leaking. In this case, 2 degrees Celsius water will enter the suit and the water will be in direct contact with your thermal underlayers and skin. Please bring a second set of the clothes you plan to wear under the dry suit (dry underwear/leggings/long sleeve shirt or skiing underwear).
  • Participants use a snorkel to breathe throughout the activity. This is a breathing tube with one end in the water and the other in the air.
  • Silfra is situated in the Þingvellir national park. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Area and new constructions are not allowed. This means that participants change in our tour vans in potentially wet, windy, and cold weather conditions. In winter, outside temperatures in Iceland may be far below the freezing point.
  • Participants should bring adequate thermal protection for the time before and after wearing a dry suit and keep in mind that the weather in Iceland may change within minutes. Make sure to have a hat and gloves along during winter!
  • Participants cannot wear most types of jewelry in the water. Please leave accessories not needed on tour at your accommodation so that they do not get lost.

The following conditions, unfortunately, exclude you from participating in this tour. Please understand that this is for your own safety!

  • Inability to perform moderate exercise (walk 1 mile/1.6 km within 12 minutes)
  • Pregnancy
  • Any form of lung disease
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung), other chest disease or chest surgery
  • Head injury with loss of consciousness in the past five years
  • Any kind of heart disease, heart surgery or heart attack
  • Thrombocytopenia or other blood disorders
  • Colostomy or ileostomy
  • Epilepsy or conditions resulting in sudden unconsciousness

If any of the following applies to you, you need to get medical clearance from a doctor in order to participate in the tour.

  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication?
  • Currently or recently under any kind of medical care (last 12 month)?
  • High cholesterol level?
  • High blood pressure or taking medicine to control blood pressure?
  • Diabetes, mellitus, even if controlled by diet alone?
  • Asthma, or wheezing with breathing or wheezing with exercise?
  • Behavioral or mental health problems (panic, fear of closed/open spaces)?
  • Dysentery or dehydration?
  • Back, arm or leg problems following surgery, injury or fracture?
  • Ulcer or ulcer surgery?
  • Recreational drug use or treatment for Alcoholism in the past 5 years?
  • Raynaud’s syndrome?
  • Vertigo/dizziness?
  • Cancer?
  • Older than 60 years?

You can download the medical release form here.

Failure in complying with these conditions may result in the guides refusing you participation. In such cases, no refunds are given.

Partner Tours

This tour is a Partner Tour

What this means is that this tour is not operated by I Heart Reykjavík but one of our trusted partners that we have carefully chosen to help you get the most of your stay in Iceland.

We are very selective with the companies we choose to work with because we want you to have the best experience possible during your Iceland adventure. We would never recommend anything to you that we wouldn’t recommend to our own family and friends.




Comments from previous guests

“Black & Blue - Caving and Snorkeling Adventures!”

This was likely the best thing we did in Iceland! It was really amazing! The caving was a natural lava cave like nothing I had ever seen before (and I grew up in the Midwest of the U.S. and have been to plenty of caves)! We were a group of 14 and the guide was awesome! I was feeling unsure of my footing and he helped me along! Loved it! Then we went to the Silfra snorkeling adventure and that was more my element! You snorkel for about 45 minutes in the freezing water wearing special wet suits - so glad my friend had a Go Pro to record some of it! It was beautiful and so different from other snorkeling you have been on before! Do this Adventure!
Atlanta_GATravelgirl
Atlanta / GA
“Black and Blue - Nick, Gary and Timos”

The black and blue tour was fantastic. The cave was very cool and we spent the perfect amount of time in it, no rush and no lag. Snorkeling silfra is incredible and no words can explain it, just be prepared to be uncomfortable. Dry suits are hard but Silfra is SO worth it. Tour guides Nick, Gary, and Timos were great. VERY funny, friendly and professional. They had fun but knew what they were doing like the back of their hand and made sure everyone was safe and comfortable. Loved spending the day with these guys.
lindsaayy24
Bowmanville / Canada
“Amazing once in a lifetime experience! Black and Blue Tour!!”

I did the Black and Blue tour while I was in Iceland for my birthday. (April 2016) The guide, Richard, was amazing he was friendly, knowledgeable, and fun. The weather was not the best as the rain and snow mix made for not a good start to the tour however Richard made sure to stop at a gas station for everyone to use the washroom and grab a warm beverage before the drive out to the cave. In the cave Richard enthralled us with tales and forklore. He always made sure that everyone’s safety was foremost ensuring to warn of slippery parts and sharp rocks. Snorkelling was so worth it despite the cold weather the warm fuzzy suits kept me warm. Yes it is cold recommend to wear two pairs of socks when doing this trip in the late spring. Highly recommend this tour Black and Blue it is adventurous it is very active be prepared to be tired after this trip but hands down this tour is requirement to cross off your bucket list.
alicia198417
Calgary / Canada

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