Lago di Tenno - a definitive guide

Lago di Tenno in the Dolomites, Italy

An oasis of blue nestled in the hills above the town of Tenno, Italy. This is one alpine lake you won’t want to miss.

Giddy with excitement at finally being in the Dolomites, one of my bucket list destinations. I couldn’t help but smile as I made my way along the beautiful twisting Italian mountain roads towards my first stop on my Dolomites road trip, Lago di Tenno.

En route to this turquoise oasis, I pass through the town of Tenno, located about two and a half hours from Venice, just north of Verona, the scene of Shakespeare’s teenage tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, and past the far bigger Lago di Garda. From there I make my way up the mountain, through quintessentially Italian villages and past medieval castles that trigger my long-dormant high school history nerd.

I park at the small parking lot dedicated to Lago di Tenno, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and an adventure activity information booth. From there, it’s a short walk down some clearly marked stairs and I’m at the start of the walking path surrounding the alpine lake.

Dominated by mountains on all sides, the deep blue turquoise of Lago di Tenno, which, if you hadn’t guessed already, translates simply to Lake Tenno, is almost unreal. The colour is caused by silt from the mountains suspended in the water. It’s perfectly safe though, and after enjoying a walk around the lake, a dip in the brisk water feels well deserved. There’s plenty of places for you to lay down your towel and soak in the sun as well, which many people do, making Lago di Tenno the ideal location for a day by the lake, enjoying a picnic and some stunningly picturesque scenes.

Lago di Tenno in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Tenno in the Dolomites, Italy

Sound like the kind of place you simply must add to your Italian Dolomites itinerary? Then keep reading.

Everything you need to know

How to get there

Location | Lago di Tenno, Tenno, Province of Trento, Italy.

By car | I visited Lago di Tenno as part of my ten-day Italian Dolomites road trip, so I had a car and feel like this is the best way to visit. From Venice, take the E70 until Verona where you’ll turn onto the E45 toward Roverto. Take the exit toward Lago di Garda onto SS240, from here, the road will eventually turn into SP37 which will lead you to your destination, Lago di Tenno.

By bus | Lago di Tenno and the surrounding area is serviced by public buses. For more information on times and pricing, click here.


The essentials

Cost | Visiting Lago di Tenno itself is free, however, the carpark at the top of the lake does cost € 1.5 per hour.

Opening hours | Accessible at all hours.

Facilities | The area around Lago di Tenno is well serviced with restaurants, cafes, public toilets, and even an information and booking booth for outdoor adventure activities in the area.

When to visit

Time of year | Depending on what type of adventure you’re after will affect what time of year is best to visit. The peak summer season runs from late June to the end of August while the peak winter season is from December to April. I visited in early September and had great weather and fewer tourists.

Time of day | The carpark does fill up quickly and isn’t very large, so it’s best to get there early if you want to spend the day lakeside soaking up the sun. That said, I visited in the late afternoon and still had a great time. Just be aware that you definitely won’t be the only person enjoying the lake!

Where to stay

There are plenty of hotels, ski chalets, and beautiful homestays in the area, especially because of how close the lake is to the popular town of Tenno.

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

Hotels | Check out this link to see what hotels are available in the area.

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