The Silfra Fissure: a place where Europe and America can be touched at the same time

silfra fissure iceland

This post is also available in: Español

If you are a nature and water sports lover and plan to travel to Iceland, you have to visit the Silfra Fissure. You will be able to touch Europe and America at the same time, besides appreciating the wonders of nature in an unparalleled way.

In this post we bring you all about this magical place. Want to read everything you need to know about the Silfra Fissure? Here we go!

What is the Silfra Fissure?

The Silfra Fissure is a displacement fracture of the Earth’s crust. It is the only place in the world where the division of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates can be seen above the ocean surface.

It is located in the lake of Thingvallavatn, within the Thingvellir National Park in Iceland. This, apart from being a place of great geological importance, it is a place where the beauty of nature is seen in its maximum splendor. That is why it has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Characteristics that make the Silfra Fissure stand out

Here are the characteristics that make the Silfra Fissure an incredible place:

The water of the Silfra Fissure

The Silfra Fissure is covered by extremely crystalline, transparent and pure water. The water is so clear that it can be seen at a depth of approximately 100 meters. This is because the water comes from the Langjökull glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland, which is located about 50 km north of the Fissure. This lake is fed directly by melt water that is filtered through porous lava rocks, a natural filter that gives the water these properties.

water silfra fissure

In this fissure have formed real pools of crystal clear water, so that through diving or snorkeling you can appreciate this beauty of nature. It is not for nothing that this place has become a must for divers from all over the world who come here, not only to have the opportunity to dive between two continents, but attracted by the enormous visibility that gives this crystal clear water.

Caves and dive sites

As we have already mentioned several times in this post, if there is one thing to do in Silfra, it is to dive, either by scuba diving or snorkeling. Silfra fissure is divided into three dive sites: Silfra entrance, Silfra cathedral and Silfra lagoon. Among these three parts, the best views are at Silfra Cathedral.

silfra fissure iceland

The best thing to do if you are going to dive or snorkel in the Silfra fissure is to do it with a guided tour. This will take you to the best spots so you can get the most out of your dive.


The location of the Silfra fissure is another attraction of the site. Being a fissure that divides the two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and North American, you have the possibility to see and touch at the same time the American continent and the European continent, an experience without a doubt.

The geology

Iceland in general is a paradise for geology given its volcanic activity, its canyons and its orography in general. However, the Silfra fissure is an even more special place precisely because you can study the tectonic dynamics of two plates, which are also separating: it is estimated that approximately 2 cm each year.

What can you do on the Silfra fissure?

As we were saying, the waters of Silfra are ideal for water sports.

In addition to diving, in the surroundings you can go on excursions to explore the glaciers, geysers, thaws, waterfalls and volcanoes. And if you go in season where conditions are favorable, you can also see the incredible northern lights.

When is the best time to visit the Silfra Rift?

Generally, the best seasons to visit the Silfra Rift are spring and summer. That is, you can go from May to August, as these months are when the water temperature is less extreme.

thingvellir national park iceland

On the other hand, Thingvellir National Park is open to the public from March to November. The opening hours are from 9 am to 5 pm. In summer it closes at 7 pm.

What is clear is that, if you have enough time in Iceland, you should visit the Silfra fissure. After all, it is not every day that you have the opportunity to see the fissure that divides Europe from America, and if the division is as spectacular as in this place, you will take with you the memory of having visited a unique place that is definitely worth it.


Journalist and traveler. Laura has traveled around Iceland several times and is in love with its nature, especially the northern lights. She loves the cold, the icebergs and says that at some point she will move to the land of ice. For now she tells us about her adventures traveling around the island.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *