My new wife and I are planning a European honeymoon, and one of the highlights will be our visit to Norway. We are currently planning to travel to Oslo from Stockholm on or around July 4. I'm expecting we'll spend a day and a half in Oslo before departing for the fjord lands en route to Bergen. We fly out of Bergen the evening of July 10 to London and eventually home.
We are active, love the outdoors and would really like to enjoy Norway's natural beauty between Oslo and Bergen. We'd definitely enjoy getting out for some scenic hikes and possibly kayaking in the fjords, without the crowds if possible.
So far my research has suggested that the most popular option is the "Norway in a Nutshell" tour via Flam. While this itinerary looks great, it sounds very touristy, even crowded, which is a major turn off. I've read that one option is to break up the typical one day trip with an overnight in Flam or Myrdal, with biking, hiking or kayak excursions during the layover. I've read that if you layover, you might even avoid the Nutshell crowds by requesting departures at off peak times. Is this accurate?
Another idea I have is to rent a car in Oslo and drive up to Jotunheimen National Park. I've read the hiking up there is excellent, but the photos don't appear as stunning as the fjords in the Nutshell itinerary. Hertz quotes $250 USD for 4 days from Oslo to Bergen, which sounds reasonable.
A third option would be to take the one day Nutshell tour with all the tourist crowds to Bergen, and then with our remaining 2-3 days take day trips from Bergen to fjords or hikes in the area.
What would you recommend for the best overall experience?
If we took the driving option, are there are tolls and how much they might add to the cost of the trip? I've heard there are tolls but have no idea how frequent they are or how much they generally cost. We'd be looking at longer drive times that could add up, but the freedom of the road without the crowds might be nice.
Also, are there day trips from Bergen that compare favorably with the stunning scenery in the fjords of the Nutshell tour?
Thanks in advance for any guidance and insights anyone is able to share!