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Iceland Road Trip Sept. 24 - Oct. 4

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I've been researching a lot of road trip itineraries for our trip to Iceland in late September. We wanted to catch the end of the "busy season" so that things would still be open, but also be able to catch better views of the Northern Lights.

We plan to drive the ring road, stopping along the way, but my question is whether we should start our first day (we land at 6 a.m.) and get to driving, as I would imagine things will be more closed up when we get back around to Reykjavik and Reykjavik would be more open year round?

Based on the week we are going, should we go clockwise, or counter-clockwise? Is 10 days long enough to do the Ring Road, as well as stop in the West Fjords and Snaefellsnes Peninsula? We do want to get out and hike some, do a glacier hiking tour, possibly a viking sushi cruise and enjoy our time, not necessarily running from site to site.

Lastly, I've heard the road between Hofn and Lake Myvatn is pretty arduous. Does anyone have a suggestion of where to stay halfway between?

Thanks!

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