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Iceland tour, first time - advice appreciated!

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So - with some discussion with my DH, we have decided to concentrate on Iceland alone instead of the first plan, which included Norway and Denmark. I like this idea, as it gives me MUCH more freedom around a country that looks fantastic!

My initial itinerary is for late July:

Reykjavik - 3 nights (includes a day around town, a day around the Golden Circle, and a day down in Reykjane peninsula)

Þórsmörk National park, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss on the way to Vik.


Vik - 2 nights (includes hiking up near Sólheimajökull glacier, and perhals to Landmannalaugar mountains?)

Cape Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara on the way to Skaftafell.

Skaftafell - 2 nights (includes Skaftafell, Svartifoss and Vatnajökull National Park)

Jokulsarlon and Hengifoss on the way to Egilsstaðir.

Egilsstaðir - 1 night

Lake Mývatn - 3 nights (includes Diamond Circle one day; whale/puffin safari from Husavik another day)

Flugumyri, Ketubjorg and Kalfshamarsvik on the way to Osar


Osar - 1 night

Ísafjörður - 2 nights (Dynjandi Foss and the Western Fjords)

Reykholt and Borgarnes on the way to Reykjavik.

Reykjavik - 1 night


Questions:

Any reason not to go counter-clockwise? For some reason, it appealed to me better than clockwise.

4WD - would my itinerary necessitate such a thing, or will I be OK? There are some areas off the Ring Road, like in the Westfjords, and down near Lake Mývatn.

Rental cars - I know they're expensive. Any great places that will be less expensive? Perhaps a good fly-and-drive or self-guided tour sort of thing?

Any natives want to meet up for a drink while we're there?

Thanks!

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