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


A widespread concern for people to Iceland is no matter whether it’s most effective to push Iceland’s Route 1 ring road in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Whislt we didn’t really generate the total ring on our excursion (we almost certainly coated all over one particular 3rd of it), I did prepare to at initial so expended rather a bit of time exploring this issue. I hope my results will assistance you make an knowledgeable choice as to what route is best for you.

1st factors initially

Prior to tackling the question of irrespective of whether to drive the ring road in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, I would very first pose the question as to whether you do indeed want to address the overall route. It’s 1,317 kilometres and, if you are confined to only a 7 days or so, I would seriously acquire a move again and glance at the key things you want to address. See my former post which points out why we chose not to generate the overall ring highway with the time we had accessible.

Lots of of Iceland’s major attractions are in the south and west of the region and, because you will no question be arriving at Keflavik Airport, shut to the funds of Reykjavik, in the south-west of the place, substantially of want you to see will be in just a couple hours’s push of there. I understand that you may well want to see as significantly as possible but, if your time is precious and minimal, does it seriously make feeling to be investing so substantially of that time in a vehicle?

Okay, so you’ve thought of the over but even now want to generate the ring highway, but are not absolutely sure which way all-around to go? Study on!

Clockwise as opposed to anti-clockwise

When you read through up on this subject, the consensus of belief is to follow the route in an anti-clockwise route and there are a amount of causes for this. The initially of these is that the Golden Circle is a reasonable starting up point, significantly if you’re checking out for the initially time. It’s where by you are going to find some of Iceland’s most legendary points of interest these types of as the Geysir and Strokkur geysers.

There is a entire host of issues to see and do in the Golden Circle but, regardless of what route you consider, assuming you really don’t want to appear back on you, you’ll uncover a selection of routes are inclined to ‘spit you out’ in direction of the south. This is simply because the tendency is to enter the Golden Circle by means of Route 35 from Reykjavik which normally takes you just north of the Þingvallavatn rift valley lake and to get back by way of a round route tends to necessarily mean heading south to get about this lake.

Considering that you obtain oneself towards the south, the sensible point to do is to then take a look at the south coast alongside Route 1, thus initiating an anti-clockwise route alongside the major ring highway. It is in all probability also no co-incidence that excursions that go all the way close to Iceland also have a tendency to choose to go in an anti-clockwise direction.

The other strong reasoning in favour of adopting an anti-clockwise route is that you are going to pay a visit to the busier sights very first (along the south coastline) and so progressively move from absent from the crowds to some of the additional distant and considerably less visited components of Icelandic, whcih feels a more instictively logical way to tactic points.

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Two good reasons to look at a clockwise route

I can foresee just two exceptional explanations why you could possibly select to split the mould and journey the ringroad in a clockwise route – the temperature and the time of yr.

If the weather forecast just occurs to be predicting bad temperature in the south originally and fantastic weather conditions in the north, then I guess it may well make much more perception to enable the ailments dictate your route and do your greatest to keep away from adverse climate problems. It is potentially not likely that there will be a marked contrast like this, but you never ever know so it is value checking the forecast.

Next, the time of calendar year. I have previously mentioned how the south can be chaotic and that by travelling in an anti-clockwise course, you’ll be progressively going away from the crowds, especially when you start to get over and above destinations this kind of as Höfn. That mentioned, if you take place to be travelling at the stop of August / beginning of September (the close of the Summertime holiday seasons for lots of family members around the environment), then you could avoid the crowds in the south by leaving it until the stop of your journey. If this is when you are viewing, this could be some thing that you want to take into account as it could have you favouring a clockwise journey.

For most persons, even though, an anti-clockwise route appears to be by significantly the a lot more chosen of the two selections.

Have you travelled the total Route 1 ring road? If so, did you go clockwise or anticlockwise, and what was the rationale guiding the route you selected?

Organizing a excursion to Iceland yourself? You can enjoy a movie from our vacation to Iceland in this article:


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

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