December 2, 2022

Driving Iceland’s ring road – clockwise or anti-clockwise?

A prevalent question for website visitors to Iceland is no matter if it is finest to drive Iceland’s Route 1 ring highway in a clockwise or anti-clockwise route. Whislt we did not in fact generate the full ring on our journey (we likely included all around one particular 3rd of it), I did program to at 1st so used rather a little bit of time studying this situation. I hope my findings will support you make an educated choice as to what route is greatest for you.

Initial things first

Prior to tackling the query of irrespective of whether to travel the ring road in a clockwise or anti-clockwise path, I would 1st pose the question as to whether you do certainly want to cover the entire route. It is 1,317 kilometres and, if you are constrained to only a week or so, I would very seriously consider a action again and seem at the key matters you want to address. See my earlier publish which describes why we selected not to travel the entire ring street with the time we experienced readily available.

Several of Iceland’s most important attractions are in the south and west of the place and, given that you’ll no question be arriving at Keflavik Airport, close to the cash of Reykjavik, in the south-west of the country, substantially of want you to see will be in a few hours’s push of there. I realize that you could want to see as a lot as doable but, if your time is cherished and constrained, does it truly make sense to be paying out so considerably of that time in a motor vehicle?

Ok, so you’ve viewed as the previously mentioned but nonetheless want to travel the ring street, but are not sure which way about to go? Read through on!

Clockwise as opposed to anti-clockwise

When you read up on this subject matter, the consensus of impression is to abide by the route in an anti-clockwise path and there are a selection of explanations for this. The initial of these is that the Golden Circle is a rational setting up point, especially if you’re viewing for the 1st time. It is in which you will locate some of Iceland’s most iconic points of interest this kind of as the Geysir and Strokkur geysers.

There is a entire host of points to see and do in the Golden Circle but, no matter what route you choose, assuming you never want to appear back again on oneself, you’ll come across a amount of routes are likely to ‘spit you out’ toward the south. This is since the inclination is to enter the Golden Circle by using Route 35 from Reykjavik which can take you just north of the Þingvallavatn rift valley lake and to get back by using a round route tends to mean heading south to get around this lake.

Because you obtain yourself toward the south, the sensible issue to do is to then take a look at the south coast along Route 1, hence initiating an anti-clockwise route alongside the most important ring street. It’s most likely also no co-incidence that tours that go all the way about Iceland also tend to choose to go in an anti-clockwise way.

The other potent reasoning in favour of adopting an anti-clockwise way is that you’ll pay a visit to the busier points of interest initial (along the south coastline) and so step by step move from absent from the crowds to some of the extra remote and a lot less frequented sections of Icelandic, whcih feels a additional instictively sensible way to solution factors.

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Two good reasons to think about a clockwise route

I can foresee just two exceptional factors why you may pick out to break the mould and vacation the ringroad in a clockwise direction – the climate and the time of yr.

If the temperature forecast just occurs to be predicting inadequate temperature in the south to begin with and good weather in the north, then I guess it might make far more sense to permit the circumstances dictate your route and do your finest to stay away from adverse temperature disorders. It is probably unlikely that there will be a marked distinction like this, but you under no circumstances know so it’s truly worth examining the forecast.

Secondly, the time of yr. I have by now described how the south can be occupied and that by travelling in an anti-clockwise route, you’ll be slowly shifting absent from the crowds, specifically after you get started to get beyond areas these kinds of as Höfn. That claimed, if you materialize to be travelling at the conclusion of August / beginning of September (the end of the Summer time holiday seasons for numerous family members close to the globe), then you may possibly steer clear of the crowds in the south by leaving it until eventually the end of your journey. If this is when you’re visiting, this may possibly be some thing that you want to take into account as it might have you favouring a clockwise journey.

For most persons, however, an anti-clockwise route looks to be by much the a lot more most well-liked of the two options.

Have you travelled the complete Route 1 ring road? If so, did you go clockwise or anticlockwise, and what was the rationale behind the route you chose?

Arranging a excursion to Iceland yourself? You can look at a video from our vacation to Iceland below:

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Icerental 4×4. Our excursion to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.