Epic & Otherworldly. These are the only words to describe this flooded ‘Askja’ Stratovolcano set right in the middle of the unexplored and vast Icelandic Interior. In 1875, an enormous explosion created the caldera and blew hot lava and ash all over the East Coast of Iceland and as far away as Scandinavia. The area is so unique that NASA chose it as a training ground for their astronauts prior to the Apollo Moon landings in the 1960’s & 1970’s. Everything about this place is epic and extreme, from its high altitude location (1516m) to the depth of the Caldera (220m).
Just getting to the site is an expedition in itself and involves a 10hr drive from Reykjavik, through the Icelandic Highland deserts. Our journey to the site will include dives at Strytán and Nesgja and we journey on to make a dedicated stop at Europe´s most powerful waterfall Dettifoss which sits on the edge of the highland deserts we must travel through to get to Askja. After crossing numerous glacial rivers and boulder strewn desert valleys we arrive at the Askja site. If you get this far, a final push is needed with a 2.5km hike to the site with dive equipment so that the real adventure can begin. Next to the caldera is smaller eruption crater called called Víti. This crater also formed from the 1875 eruption and is now a geothermal lake of mineral rich, sulphurous, opaque blue water which is around 40.C temperature making it the perfect place for a post dive swim.
Underwater Askja combines the clarity of the Silfra crack with a stunning myriad of sulphur deposits along the bottom of the crater. Numerous legends of lake monsters and supernatural creatures have been told about this place over the years and perhaps this is what has put off people diving the site until MAGMADIVE came along! The site features a unique phenomenon of floating rocks! Due to it’s volcanic nature large pumice stones (some the size of 4x4s) float on the water surface and provide another incredible photogenic element to the place. Askja will test your endurance limits to the max and you will finish the trip feeling more confident in your own abilities as a diver than after any other trip. More people have walked on the moon than dived in this site so you will be apart of a very exclusive group of divers if you chose to do this expedition.