Between mountains and vineyards, you travel from highlight to highlight. One of those highlights is Lago di Braies, a mountain lake of unparalleled beauty. A must-see during your visit to the north of Italy.
Lago die Braies, one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alps
You may know Lago di Braies (or in German: Pragser Wildsee) in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park from Instagram. A lot of beautiful pictures are shot around this lake.
Clear blue-green water. Wooden boats that you can rent. Impressive rocky mountains in the background. You will keep taking pictures at this photogenic lake.
One of the most photographed spots in the Dolomites and according to many the most beautiful lake in Northern Italy. It is visited daily by busloads of tourists, but if you set the alarm you have this place almost all to yourself.
Chances are you've seen a photo of the beautiful Lago di Braies before. It is a well-known hotspot on Instagram, but travel guides and travel organizations also like to scatter photos of this beautiful spot. You can't blame them, because the bright blue water stands out beautifully against the towering rocks. Add to that the charming boathouse and the many wooden rowing boats, and you have the recipe for success.
You never really have a place like the Lago di Braies to yourself. This certainly applies if you make a round trip through the Dolomites in the summer. Not only day visitors with a visit to this place, but also crowded coaches with Asian tourists make a stopover here. Around ten o'clock it even gets so busy that they close the regular parking lot and take people with a shuttle bus to the terminus. You can count on crowded hiking trails and a lake that is full of boats.
Determined to avoid those bus loading tourists we, booked the hotel for 3 nights. When arriving at the Pragser Wildsee at 7 am there is still plenty of space in the parking lot next to the lake. There are only a handful of photographers along the banks, it is wonderful and quiet. You can take a stroll and enjoy the view, without a hundred others blocking your view.
If you want to take beautiful pictures and don't feel like parking hassles, then you should set the alarm. The only disadvantage? The boathouse opens at 9 a.m. open.
Once you have arrived at Lago di Braies, you should not immediately turn around again. It is the starting point for several beautiful walks. So definitely take the time to make it at least around the lake, this walk takes about an hour and is the best way to avoid the crowds. If you have more time, you can even choose to take one of the longer walks. These are well marked with wooden signs that tell you exactly how long the different routes are.
Despite the attractive water, it is not recommended to take a dip here. At 36 meters it is one of the deepest lakes in the region and the water is cold. Because the lake is wedged between high mountain peaks, it is a lot colder here than in the rest of the Dolomites. So don't forget to pack a warm sweater, especially if you visit Lago di Braies in the early morning.
Is it worth the hype?
The Lago di Braies is even more beautiful in real life than in the photo. I can therefore definitely recommend planning a short stopover at this beautiful lake during your trip to Northern Italy.
Accessibility: I recommend renting a car. Lago di Braies is easily accessible by bus, but you can't go before 9 am
Parking: Parking at the Pragser Wildsee is possible in the early morning at the parking lot next to the lake. From here it is a few steps to the boathouse. However, space is limited, so arrive early to ensure a parking space. Parking costs are 10 for a day. In high season, the road to the parking lot is closed after 09:30 to 16:00, you can still book a parking ticket online the day in advance so that you can still drive there during the day
Note: In the summer, the entrance between 9:30 and 1 6: 00 is closed and you have to park in the parking lot in Ferrara. This parking is about 6 kilometers from Lago di Braies. You can then travel to the lake by shuttle bus, or take a 1.5-hour walk.
Hotel: Do you want to wake up with a view of Lago di Braies? Then you can stay overnight in the hotel that is located right on the lake. Rooms are nicely furnished and you can sleep from € 100 per night if you book early in advance with half board. The rooms with a view on the lake are around 130 pp half board