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Need plan planning a 17 day trip to Switzerland

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My husband and I are planning a 17 day trip to Switzerland for late July/early August of this year. I stumbled upon the Fodor's Forum in the last few days and have found the posts extremely helpful. In particular, the trip reviews posted by Melnq8 about her winter trip to the Lower and Upper Engadine valleys and Mokka4's trip report about her week based in Bern along with everyone's input has been fantastic. As a result, we are planning time in both of those locations.

Some information about us: we love to hike and bike and believe in "less is more" when we travel. We like to "dive deep" into an area versus moving fast. We spent two weeks in Switzerland in 2001 and hit many of the typical highlights (i.e., Lauterbrunnen Valley, Lucerne, Lugano, Zermatt and Gstaad). We'd like to target mostly new destinations within Switzerland. We also plan on renting a car for most of our time in Switzerland but will utilize the local trains and post buses if we need them to complete a hiking loop.

We would also prefer to travel to Europe in the fall versus the summer to avoid the tourists but the timing didn't work out this year. We would rather skip a beautiful destination and save it for another time than be among all the other crowds of tourists. Also, we want to save the Geneva/Montreaux area for another trip.

We will most likely be flying in and out of Basel.

Here's what I'm thinking so far - in no particular order:

3 nights in Basel (we are visiting someone and want to explore the museums
2 nights in Bern or Murten
4 nights in upper Engadine valley
4 nights in lower Engadine valley

That leaves 4 more nights to work with. Is there an undiscovered gem I'm missing? Part of me wants to experience the scenic landscape to the west (i.e., wood balconies, etc. that we won't find in Engadine. I've thought of going back to the Gstaad area as I thought the hiking was fantastic but I didn't particularly love the town of Gstaad. I'm wondering about Appenzell but not sure about the hiking and wonder if it will feel too touristy in the summer. We would love to experience the Italian part of Switzerland but I don't want to go back to Lugano. Not sure if we would love Bellinzona. I do like the idea of hiking in the Verzasca valley north of Locarno and the drive to Engadine via the Bregaglia Valley but the lakes area could be crowded given that time of the summer. The drive across the Furka pass sounds amazing but time consuming and maybe out of the way. Not sure about Andermatt.

Given our longer stays in the Engadine valley, we would be open to staying somewhere else for 2-3 nights and even one night somewhere to break up a drive. We could even decide to stay an additional night in one of the Engadine Valleys.

I would appreciate any thoughts on other gems particularly in the July/early August timeframe. Also, if someone has an idea on the best roads to take to maximize scenery but also efficiency at times, I would greatly appreciate it.

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