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


A common question for visitors to Iceland is whether it’s best to drive Iceland’s Route 1 ring road in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Whislt we didn’t actually drive the entire ring on our trip (we probably covered around one third of it), I did plan to at first so spent quite a bit of time researching this issue. I hope my findings will help you make an informed decision as to what route is best for you.

First things first

Before tackling the question of whether to drive the ring road in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, I would first pose the question as to whether you do indeed want to cover the entire route. It’s 1,317 kilometres and, if you are limited to only a week or so, I would seriously take a step back and look at the key things you want to cover. See my previous post which explains why we chose not to drive the entire ring road with the time we had available.

Many of Iceland’s main attractions are in the south and west of the country and, since you’ll no doubt be arriving at Keflavik Airport, close to the capital of Reykjavik, in the south-west of the country, much of want you to see will be within a few hours’s drive of there. I understand that you might want to see as much as possible but, if your time is precious and limited, does it really make sense to be spending so much of that time in a vehicle?

OK, so you’ve considered the above but still want to drive the ring road, but are not sure which way around to go? Read on!

Clockwise versus anti-clockwise


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