I have read through a lot of posts here and it seems like there are many people with good answers. I will be staying in Northern Italy, near Milan this summer and I hear that hiking in Switzerland is beautiful. I'm an experienced hiker from Washington state and I like the isolation and exercise of a good hike as well as the scenery of course. I want to experience some beautiful trails in Switzerland but I don't enjoy hiking in places were it feels like you are at the local shopping mall (which means too many people and too much walking compared to climbing/hiking). In other words:
1. What are some beautiful, but challenging hikes in Switzerland that would not be (completely) overrun with tourists? A multiple day hike appeals to me but I don't want a tour guide, since I'm pretty good with a map (and hopefully there is signage too).
2. I hear that mountain inns or guest houses are cheaper but i haven't seen many actual figures. What might I expect to pay for the simplest room at one of these places, in the month of August or possibly early September? Do prices usually include meals?
3. Is there a hike in Switzerland so epic and mind blowing that it is worth the crowd?
I have plenty of time but want to keep from blowing the bank if possible. I'd love to really enjoy my time here and not be stressed out with a hectic tourist-style schedule.
Thanks in advance for all your advice!
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