Discover The Emerald Waters Of Lagos Di Braies
One of the most beautiful natural settings on the planet, Lago di Braies is the most iconic sight in the Dolomites of Italy.
Where Is Lago Di Braies?
Up front, it’s hard to say where this gorgeous lake is. There are so many people who are posting about it on Instagram and in blogs because of its breathtaking beauty. In addition to this, when you search it on Google Maps, it’s still quite confusing.
So let’s get clear on that first! Lago di Braies is located deep in what’s known as the Braies valley. This area is in the South Tyrol region of northern Italy. It’s part of the scenic Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park.
Known as Pragser Wildsee in German, this must-see destination is really close to the Austrian border.
How To Get To Lago Di Braises
You can get to the lake by car, train, or bus.
Most of the people who visit Pragser Wildsee tend to stay close to Pusteria Valley, and then take the trip by car to Lago di Braies. This seems to be the recommended method by most people who visit.
When you go, try to leave early. A car will help you with this. The crowds tend to come in the mid-morning, so the earlier you can get there the better. If you stay in the nearby spot of Sesto, the drive to the lake will take you about 30 minutes.
However, if you’re staying a Dobbiaco, Monguelfo, or Villabassa, it will only take you about 15 minutes. Really, you can stay wherever you want, just be prepared that if you’re staying further away, the travel can take you much longer.
You can park at Lago di Braies for free for the first hour. After that, it’s 6 Euros for the first three hours and then .80 Euros after that.
Alternatively, you can also take public transport, or a shuttle. Check out this link for more info so you can get safely and efficiently to the lake for a day of breathtaking beauty.
Pragser Wildsee Will Keep You Busy For Days
Hiking The Lake
The hike around Lago di Braies is easy and gorgeous. It’s a loop that circles the lake, and the walk takes about an hour of your time.
You can take it nice and slow, and stop on some of the small beaches to sun bathe. There are also lots of nice views where you can stop and relax at some of the lookout points.
If you’d like a more challenging hike, and to spend more time being active, you can head to the back of the lake (the south side) and take a trip into the mountains, which are known as Croda del Becco.
Rent A Boat
One of the most popular things to do at this stop is to rent a boat and cruise the lake. They have wooden row-boats available for rent, and the sightseeing is just incredible.
You can row your boat all the way across to the beach on the other side of the lake, or even feel free to just sit in the middle of the lake and take in all the incredible views.
Just a tip: Try to rent your boat before 11am as that is the most popular time. It’s wise to get everything ready and be out on your boat before the crowds come it. It will make for a more enjoyable experience. The boat rental season runs from June – September, and is open from 9:30am to 5pm. As of the writing of this article, the price is 25 Euros for one hour, and 15 Euros for every 30 minutes after that.
Visit The lakeside Chapel
There’s a small chapel on the west side of the lake. It was built in 1904, and was used as a safe meeting place for a German SS commander to do a prisoner exchange.
The chapel is just perfect — it was designed by the same architect who’s responsible for the Lago di Braies hotel. Otto Schmid is the name of the designer, and it was created in a typical South Tyrolean style.
The chapel is open to visitors in the summer months. Feel free to go and check it out — the adorable interior and nearby horse stable are fascinating and beautiful.
When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit?
It’s tempting to visit Lago di Braies in the summer, but you may want to try spring or fall instead.
The colours you can experience in the spring and fall months make the lake dazzle and seem otherworldly — even more than in the summer! And if you want to avoid seeing a sheet of ice covering the lake, visit before late November or after April.
As we’ve already mentioned, go as early as you can. You’ll avoid the crowds. Keep in mind also that the lake’s easy accessibility makes it an attractive destination for tour groups, so arrive with the first rays of morning. The tour groups will still be sleeping at this time, as will the fair-weather explorers.
Early bird gets the view and the peace and quiet.
With the rise in popularity of social media and photo-hungry tourists, it’s important to observe some respectful boundaries in this beautiful spot. As with anywhere, people can be disrespectful at times. This is not to say that everyone behaves this way… there are many respectful visitors.
In order to make sure you’re in the “respectful” category of tourist at this spot, refrain from using a drone, pick up any trash that you see, obviously don’t litter, and make sure you use a reusable water bottle when you go.
You can also consider visiting in what’s called “shoulder season”. Over tourism can be a big problem, and put a strain on the local area and the eco system. By going in off-season, you can help out a lot and also have a more enjoyable experience.
We hope you enjoy this iconic and breathtaking experience!