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

Driving Iceland's ring road - clockwise or anti-clockwise?

A standard query for guests to Iceland is whether or not it’s greatest to drive Iceland’s Route 1 ring highway in a clockwise or anti-clockwise path. Whislt we didn’t really drive the complete ring on our journey (we most likely lined round one third of it), I did plan to at first so spent fairly a little bit of time researching this subject. I hope my findings will allow you to make an knowledgeable choice as to what route is greatest for you.

First issues first

Before tackling the query of whether or not to drive the ring highway in a clockwise or anti-clockwise path, I’d first pose the query as as to if you do certainly wish to cowl the complete route. It’s 1,317 kilometres and, if you’re restricted to solely every week or so, I’d significantly take a step again and take a look at the important thing stuff you wish to cowl. See my earlier put up which explains why we selected to not drive the complete ring highway with the time we had obtainable.

Many of Iceland’s primary points of interest are within the south and west of the nation and, because you’ll little doubt be arriving at Keflavik Airport, near the capital of Reykjavik, within the south-west of the nation, a lot of need you to see might be inside a number of hours’s drive of there. I perceive that you just may wish to see as a lot as potential however, in case your time is treasured and restricted, does it actually make sense to be spending a lot of that point in a automobile?

OK, so that you’ve thought of the above however nonetheless wish to drive the ring highway, however are usually not positive which means round to go? Read on!

Clockwise versus anti-clockwise

When you learn up on this topic, the consensus of opinion is to observe the route in an anti-clockwise path and there are a variety of causes for this. The first of those is that the Golden Circle is a logical start line, significantly for those who’re visiting for the primary time. It’s the place you’ll discover a few of Iceland’s most iconic points of interest such because the Geysir and Strokkur geysers.

There’s a complete host of issues to see and do within the Golden Circle however, no matter route you’re taking, assuming you don’t wish to come again on your self, you’ll discover quite a few routes are inclined to ‘spit you out’ in direction of the south. This is as a result of the tendency is to enter the Golden Circle through Route 35 from Reykjavik which takes you simply north of the Þingvallavatn rift valley lake and to get again through a round route tends to imply heading south to get round this lake.

Since you end up in direction of the south, the logical factor to do is to then discover the south coast alongside Route 1, thus initiating an anti-clockwise route alongside the primary ring highway. It’s most likely additionally no co-incidence that excursions that go all the best way round Iceland additionally have a tendency to decide on to go in an anti-clockwise path.

The different robust reasoning in favour of adopting an anti-clockwise path is that you just’ll go to the busier points of interest first (alongside the south coast) and thus progressively transfer from away from the crowds to a number of the extra distant and fewer visited components of Icelandic, whcih feels a extra instictively logical solution to method issues.


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Two causes to contemplate a clockwise route

I can foresee simply two distinctive the reason why you may select to interrupt the mould and journey the ringroad in a clockwise path – the climate and the time of yr.

If the climate forecast simply occurs to be predicting poor climate within the south initially and good climate within the north, then I assume it’d make extra sense to let the circumstances dictate your route and do your greatest to keep away from adversarial climate circumstances. It is maybe unlikely that there might be a marked distinction like this, however you by no means know so it’s price checking the forecast.

Secondly, the time of yr. I’ve already talked about how the south could be busy and that by travelling in an anti-clockwise path, you’ll be progressively shifting away from the crowds, significantly when you begin to get past locations comparable to Höfn. That stated, for those who occur to be travelling on the finish of August / starting of September (the tip of the Summer holidays for a lot of households all over the world), then you definitely may keep away from the crowds within the south by leaving it till the tip of your journey. If that is once you’re visiting, this could be one thing that you just wish to contemplate as it could have you ever favouring a clockwise journey.

For most individuals, although, an anti-clockwise route appears to be by far the extra most well-liked of the 2 choices.

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

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This put up is sponsored by Icerental 4×4. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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