Iceland Ring Road: Clockwise or Anti-clockwise?

We started our Icelandic adventure in Reykjavik and drove down the 36 Highway to visit Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, Gullfoss and Bruarfoss.

After seeing these attractions we had two options:

  1. Drive back towards the Ring Road and then head north (which is what we did and I highly recommend it). Or,
  2. Continue on the 36 Highway South to the Ring Road (travelling in an anti-clockwise direction).

Why I Highly Recommend Travelling Clockwise Around The Icelandic Ring Road?

Driving clockwise around the Icelandic Ring Road allowed us to miss all the bus loads of tourists, as they were generally gone by the time we reached the attractions.  This gave us more space to look around and actually “enjoy” the attractions! For example, we could take a tonne of photos without loads of other tourists in our pictures.

The Icelandic Ring Road was quiet in our direction, as several cars/campervans were travelling the opposite way. Whilst travelling clockwise around the Ring Road we were rarely stuck behind anyone, which made traveling a breeze.

The campsites were also fairly quiet so again we were able to enjoy the space. Having said that, it’s likely to be busier in the summer time.

The Northern Region of Iceland - Very few people with so much to see and do.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the North of Iceland, we made one mistake. We completely underestimated the amount of activities in the South!  As a result, we were rushed off our feet to fit everything we wanted to do into our already cramped time schedule (8 days is just not enough!).

I would highly recommend travelling clockwise around the Icelandic Ring Road. However, be sure you allocate enough time to explore the South!

The Southern Region of Iceland was absolutely amazing!

Many people explore the South via day trips (either self-drive or organised tours) from Reykjavik to popular attractions, such as: Jökulsárlón, Diamond Beach and Reynisfjara Beach.  

Therefore, this is where you’ll encounter the majority of tourists on your travels throughout Iceland.

One thing I will never forget!

We came around a corner and saw this magnificent white and light teal blue part of a mountain in the distance. As we got closer I realised it was a glacier and the further we drove, the more we saw.  

The scenery was so mesmerising with the light teal blue and white glacier, with deep ridges that made a unique wavy sort of pattern frozen in time. 

Clockwise or Anti-clockwise?

I cannot say 100% that going clockwise is better than anti-clockwise, as we didn’t do both.  What I can say is I wouldn’t have changed our journey around the Icelandic Ring Road. 

We were able to visit many of Iceland’s natural attractions without several tourists around and the Ring Road wasn’t busy in most places.  

Most of all, there were so many surprises along the way and always something different around each corner!