We'll be spending about a week in the Berner Oberland in July and then wanted to spend about a week in Ticino. We won't have a car. We'll be working our way back up to Zurich so maybe we should try to spend a few days north of Ticino also? We like to do lots of hiking/walking/sightseeing/etc. Thank you.
One location you might consider is the beautiful Locarno area. One possibility would be to travel from the Berner Oberland to Domodossola, and then transfer to the scenic Cento Valli Railway to Locarno. After your stay in Locarno, you could travel to Stresa by boat, walk up the hill to the station and then return to Switzerland.
For travel in July, it would be a REALLY good idea to pre-book accommodations in Locarno, as it will likely be busy then (fortunately the Film Festival isn't until August).
There are lots of areas in that vicinity for hiking and other activities. You could (for example) take the Cable Car up the hill to Cardada & CImetta, which provides fantastic views of the city and lake. There are hiking trails in that area as I recall.
We stayed in Locarno and liked it. Don't miss a day trip to Bellinzona.
Thank you. We're trying to decide between Locarno and Lugano.
Of the two cities, Locarno will be a better choice (IMO), especially for hiking / walking. Lugano tends to be more on the posh side, and has quite a different ambiance. Both cities are posh enough to have a Casino though.