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


A typical concern for people to Iceland is no matter whether it is greatest to travel Iceland’s Route 1 ring street in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Whislt we did not truly travel the entire ring on our journey (we in all probability included close to a person third of it), I did approach to at very first so used pretty a little bit of time researching this difficulty. I hope my findings will aid you make an educated choice as to what route is greatest for you.

Very first issues to start with

Before tackling the concern of regardless of whether to generate the ring road in a clockwise or anti-clockwise way, I would very first pose the question as to regardless of whether you do in truth want to protect the total route. It’s 1,317 kilometres and, if you are confined to only a week or so, I would critically choose a move back again and glimpse at the vital factors you want to cover. See my former publish which clarifies why we selected not to generate the total ring road with the time we experienced readily available.

Numerous of Iceland’s most important sights are in the south and west of the country and, because you’ll no question be arriving at Keflavik Airport, near to the capital of Reykjavik, in the south-west of the nation, significantly of want you to see will be inside a couple of hours’s travel of there. I understand that you might want to see as significantly as probable but, if your time is valuable and limited, does it definitely make feeling to be investing so significantly of that time in a car?

Alright, so you have thought of the previously mentioned but still want to travel the ring road, but are not absolutely sure which way about to go? Examine on!

Clockwise vs . anti-clockwise

When you browse up on this matter, the consensus of opinion is to observe the route in an anti-clockwise way and there are a amount of motives for this. The to start with of these is that the Golden Circle is a logical setting up position, specifically if you are going to for the 1st time. It’s where you are going to locate some of Iceland’s most iconic sights these kinds of as the Geysir and Strokkur geysers.

There’s a complete host of things to see and do in the Golden Circle but, whatever route you take, assuming you don’t want to arrive back on by yourself, you are going to uncover a quantity of routes tend to ‘spit you out’ to the south. This is for the reason that the inclination is to enter the Golden Circle through Route 35 from Reykjavik which takes you just north of the Þingvallavatn rift valley lake and to get again by means of a circular route tends to signify heading south to get close to this lake.

Since you obtain by yourself toward the south, the logical detail to do is to then check out the south coast along Route 1, so initiating an anti-clockwise route along the main ring road. It’s in all probability also no co-incidence that tours that go all the way around Iceland also tend to decide on to go in an anti-clockwise path.

The other solid reasoning in favour of adopting an anti-clockwise way is that you are going to take a look at the busier sights 1st (alongside the south coastline) and thus little by little go from away from the crowds to some of the additional distant and less frequented elements of Icelandic, whcih feels a far more instictively sensible way to technique points.

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Two causes to contemplate a clockwise route

I can foresee just two excellent good reasons why you may pick to split the mould and travel the ringroad in a clockwise way – the weather conditions and the time of yr.

If the climate forecast just occurs to be predicting inadequate temperature in the south at first and superior weather conditions in the north, then I guess it could possibly make more perception to let the situations dictate your route and do your ideal to avoid adverse temperature ailments. It is probably unlikely that there will be a marked distinction like this, but you hardly ever know so it is worthy of examining the forecast.

Next, the time of year. I have now talked about how the south can be busy and that by travelling in an anti-clockwise route, you’ll be steadily relocating away from the crowds, significantly when you get started to get past locations this sort of as Höfn. That explained, if you come about to be travelling at the stop of August / beginning of September (the finish of the Summer time vacations for a lot of households about the environment), then you could stay away from the crowds in the south by leaving it right until the finish of your vacation. If this is when you’re going to, this could possibly be something that you want to take into account as it may well have you favouring a clockwise journey.

For most men and women, even though, an anti-clockwise route seems to be by far the much more preferred of the two solutions.

Have you travelled the full Route 1 ring highway? If so, did you go clockwise or anticlockwise, and what was the rationale guiding the route you chose?

Planning a trip to Iceland you? You can look at a movie from our vacation to Iceland in this article:


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

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