An in-depth guide to Lago di Braies | The Dolomites, Italy

 
Lago di Braies, the Dolomites, Italy

One of the most iconic scenes from the Dolomites, Lago di Braies should be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list.


Perhaps the most popular alpine lake in the Dolomites, Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee, is one of those places that photos simply don’t do justice.

The largest natural alpine lake in the Dolomites, Lago di Braies is a 36-metre deep blue lake surrounded by majestic mountains and beautiful pine forests. You’ve almost certainly seen the photos, a blue lake reflecting the mountains with wooden boats and a cabin on the shore.

Lago di Braies boats
Lago di Braies boat shed

Its beauty attracts people from all over, and the lake even boasts its own hotel, Hotel Lago di Braies, right on the banks of the water. The majority of photos you will have seen from here are taken at sunrise, but even if you brave the morning cold and pre-dawn alarm, don’t expect to be the only one here. The popularity of Lago di Braies means there will almost certainly be other photographers and Instagrammers capturing and posing in front of the lake.

If you’re after something a little more than sharing the lake with dozens of other people, there is a walking path that goes all the way around the lake, meaning you can enjoy the view from multiple different perspectives. It will take you only about half an hour to complete, and is very manageable for all levels of fitness.

Lago di Braies, Italy
Lago di Braies
Lago di Braies boats

While the popularity of Lago di Braies means you won’t be able to enjoy this location all to yourself, it’s still a destination worth seeing in the Dolomites. The combination of the deep blue lake reflecting the first rays of sunlight as they hit the mountain peaks and burn off the dawn fog make for one stunning sight that you won’t want to miss.

Everything you need to know

How to get there

Location | Lago di Braies, Prags, South Tyrol, Italy

By car | I visited Lago di Braies as part of my Italian Dolomites road trip and can’t recommend getting around the Dolomites by car enough. There is a large carpark at the site and the road leading in is easy to navigate.

By bus | There are tourist buses that serve the area if you don’t have access to a car, for more information, check here.

 

 
 
 

The essentials

Cost | Visiting the lake itself is free, however, if you’re driving then the carpark will cost you € 6. Also, the boats on the lake can be hired, which costs € 15 for half an hour and € 25 for one hour.

Opening hours | The lake itself is accessible at all hours, but the boat hut and boats are only available between 10 am to 5 pm during the Summer months (June-September).  

Facilities | At the lake, you can find a car park, a restaurant/café, public toilets, Hotel Lago di Braies, and a souvenir shop. You can also rent boats from the boat shed on the lake’s shoreline.

Note* It is important to note that the lake and the boatshed are actually private property. As you enter, you will see signs that say no drones over the lake, and common sense should tell you not to break into the boatshed before it opens. Unfortunately, you’re likely to see people doing both of these things, flying drones and breaking into the boat shed. Please don’t be that person. Your Instagram banger isn’t worth disturbing the natural habitat and breaking into private property. 

When to visit

Time of year | For warm weather, visit during the summer months, late June through to the end of August, and for colder weather and the chance of snow, visit during the winter months, December to April. I visited during September (the start of Autumn) and had a chilly morning which slowly warmed up into a beautiful day.

Time of day | Sunrise is your best bet for this location. At this time of the morning, the tourist buses haven’t started arriving and there is likely to be the least amount of other people here. It’s also at this time that the sunlight hits the top of the surrounding mountain peaks, making for beautiful reflections off the lake’s surface.

Where to stay

The lake and the surrounding land is actually private property belonging to Hotel Lago di Braies, that, and the popularity of the Dolomites during both Summer and Winter means there are plenty of options for accommodation.

Hotel Lago di Braies | For prices and availability, click here.

Airbnb | Click here to see what’s available on Airbnb and potentially save yourself up to $55.

Hotels | Click here to check prices and availability of hotels in the Dolomites.


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