A guide to the Dolomites hidden gem, Lago di Carezza

Lago di Carezza

I’m just going to let the picture above speak for itself. I mean c’mon, have you ever seen anything so bloody beautiful!

Groggy with sleep, I stepped out of the car into the frigid morning air and began the short walk toward today’s sunrise mission, Lago di Carezza. I turned my gaze toward the skyline as I walked, and all thoughts of tiredness or cold immediately vanished.

Even from the carpark, the view of the Latemar Mountains, which make up part of the Dolomites, is impressive. A wall of stone jutting up from the earth, their peaks dusted with early Autumn snow. Excitement peaking, I made my way down to the shores of Lake Carezza.

The Dolomites
The Dolomites

A perfectly still alpine lake, Lago di Carezza, truly is a sight to behold. A deep emerald colour, it mirrors the looming Latemar Mountains like a beautiful painting. As the sun rises over the Dolomites, the snow-dusted peaks of the mountains are bathed in golden light. It’s completely stunning, and I can’t quite believe I’m here and that this is real.

Located just north of Trento, Lago di Carezza, or Karersee if you’re German, is arguably the most beautiful alpine lake in the Italian Dolomites. On a clear day, the lake’s surface is completely still and reflects the stunning skyline in all its glory and beauty. If you’re socked in by cloud, the fog clings to the treetops and dampens the sound of the busy road, making for an eerily beautiful misty forest kind of scene.

Lago di Carezza with the Dolomites in the background
Lago di Carezza

Lago di Carezza itself is fenced off in a bid to protect and preserve the natural beauty of the place. However, the is a walking path around the lake that should only take you about ten to twenty minutes to navigate. This way, you can admire the lake from a variety of angles, as well as explore some the surrounding spruce pine forests.

Alpine forest near Lago di Carezza
Spruce pine needles near Lago di Carezza

While other alpine lakes in the Italian Dolomites might be more popular or more heavily visited, A trip to see the natural beauty of Lago di Carezza is one that you won’t regret.

Everything you need to know

 How to get there

Location | Lago di Carezza, Karersee, Welschnofen, South Tyrol, Italy

By car | From the closest city, Bolzano, it is about a 30-40 minute drive along road SS241 which will lead you right to the carpark for Lake Carezza. From Trento, head toward Bolzano on road E45 and then follow directions as already outlined. I visited Lago di Carezza as part of my ten-day Italian Dolomites road trip and think that driving is definitely the easiest option.

By bus | There are buses to and from the sight as well. For more information on those, click here.


The essentials

Cost | Visiting the lake itself is free. However, parking in the carpark is free for the first 15 minutes, and then € 1 per hour after that.

Opening hours | The lake and carpark are accessible at all times, however, the shops and cafes are open from 8 am to 6 pm.

Facilities | Above the carpark, before you cross the road and head down to the lake there are two café/bars that serve food, coffee, drinks, and ice cream. There is a souvenir shop that also sells some outdoor clothing, as well as bathrooms located in the tunnel that takes you underground between these shops and the lake.

When to visit

Time of year | You can visit Lago di Carezza at all times of the year. The summer runs from late June to the end of August, while the winter is from December to April. During these months, there is a very high chance the lake will be frozen over, and the area blanketed in snow. I visited at the start of Autumn in September and got pristine weather conditions.

Time of day | Lago di Carezza is a popular spot for both sunrise and sunset. I visited during sunrise and had the lake almost entirely to myself. Watching the sky change colour and the first rays of golden light hit the Latemar Mountains, and then to have all this reflected off the emerald lake was absolutely gorgeous.

Where to stay

Due to its popularity as a ski destination during winter and a hiking destination in summer, the entire Dolomites is dotted with hotels, chalets, and lovely homestays.

Airbnb | Use this link to check out Airbnb and potentially save yourself up to $55.

Hotels | Use this link to check for hotels in Italy.

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