split shot grey cloudy sky over Kleifarvatn with lavarock shore and green moss patches underwater bubbling sand bottom

Kleifarvatn

Underwater hot springs

A stunning and unique dive site

Covering about eight square meters, Kleifarvatn is the largest lake on the Reykjanes peninsula and with a maximum depth of 90 meters is one of the deepest lakes in Iceland. Kleifarvatn is located about 30 km outside of Reykjavík and sits directly atop the mid-Atlantic ridge, the point at which the North American and Eurasian continental plates diverge. Kleifarvatn Lake is nestled within an impressive volcanic landscape, full of steep and amazingly colored hills and weird lava formations. Standing at the lake’s shore it is hard to believe that there is a populated city just 30 minutes away. This is the territory of trolls and elves.

Lake Kleifarvatn’s position on the geothermally active area along the diverging tectonic plates provides some unusual features. Underwater hot springs were recently discovered about 10 meters from the shore on one side of the lake. In the center of the hot springs is a large crater that emits large quantities of warm water and gases. As the air bubbles are pushed through the crater on the lake floor, pressure causes the surrounding rocks to vibrate slightly. Divers can usually feel these vibrations themselves, which is a special experience!

Kleifarvatn lake is also unusual because of its constantly rising and falling water levels despite the fact that the lake has no visible surface drainage, i.e. no connecting rivers. Changes in water level are due mostly to alterations in ground water level. For instance, the water level in the lake noticeably decreased in 2000 as water drained into the ground following earthquakes that created a fissure in the lake’s floor. Since then the water levels have risen again, but they must be checked frequently in order to gauge access to the dive site.

Kliefarvatn Lake is a popular fishing site during the summer season and is known for unusually large brown trout and char. A monster the size of a whale and shape of a serpent is also said to inhabit the lake. As the lake partially freezes over during winter, both diving and fishing activities are paused during the winter season.

How to experience Kleifarvatn with us

snorkeler diving towards camera between black sand bubbling hot water out of white rocks up to two snorkelers in Kleifarvatn

Geothermal Snorkel Tour

Snorkeling in a cool geothermal hot spring

ISK 15.990
diver-geothermal-hot-spring-annette

Geothermal Hot Spring Dive Tour

Dive in the devil's jacuzzi

ISK 44.990
Blue wideangle view to snorkeler with red fins swimming away in lake Kleifarvatn between black sand and bubbles streaming up

Geothermal Snorkel Tour and Lava Caving

Ruptures at the edge of our world

ISK 37.890
silfra lagoon split view divers sunny day iceland

3-Day Reykjavík Dive Tour

Your introduction into arctic diving

Kleifarvatn

Reykjanes Peninsula

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Frequently asked questions

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