A Lago di Braies hike is good for the mind & body, making it a worthy stop on any Dolomite itinerary!
Nestled away in the South Tyrolean Dolomites is a piece of unspoiled nature.
An emerald green lake surrounded by mountain peaks.
Like a fairytale, it doesn’t seem quite real. The blue-green water captures every subtle change in the light, transporting you to another world.
The Lago di Braies Circuit Hike
Chances are when you dream of alpine beauty, something like Lago di Braies pops in your mind.
Rightly so, it’s nothing less than awe-inspiring beauty.
Lago di Braies (also known as Pragser Wildsee in German) is known as “The Pearl of The Dolomite Lakes”. And for good reason, it’s one of a kind.
It’s perfect place to experience the magic of the outdoors.
The Dolomites are a nature lovers dream and one of my favorite places to get away from it all. A place to turn down the volume of modern life and go tech-free for a while.
In fact, the endless trails are one of the many reasons why the Dolomites are an ideal destination for wellness travel.
Plenty of peace & quiet, spas, and ample outdoor activities make it an ideal place for everyone to experience wellness travel.
Come and see for yourself just a tiny piece of what the Dolomites have to offer!
Exploring The Lake…
As the largest natural lake in The Dolomites, Braies envelopes a 2-mile shore of placid green-blue.
The lake is a very popular Dolomite location as it also marks the start of the popular 118 km Alta Via 1 (Alpine Path 1) which runs all the way to Belluno.
The two-mile circuit around the lake affords you beautiful views from every angle.
It’s an easy circular hike and at a leisurely pace takes roughly 1.5 hours.
Maybe longer if you stop to capture some photo memories.
One of the rather unique features of the lake is the boathouse. It makes you feel nostalgic for summers gone by.
The beautiful wooden structure docks the famous wooden rowboats that appear in feeds all over Instagram.
As beautiful as some of those photos are, they don’t do justice to the experience of being at the lake.
But, don’t come to Braies just to take photos of the lake, come to experience nature, and be inspired by the beauty of the pristine location.
And maybe take a spin in the large wooden rowboats, which can rented by from June to October. It’s mindful fun to glide across the lake.
Imagine the feeling…you, the fresh mountain air, and the tranquil sound of paddles slicing through the water. Ahhh…
Next to the boathouse is Lago di Braies Hotel.
Built in 1899, the beautiful stone hotel is still in operation today.
There’s a veranda restaurant for dining with a view and a small patch of lakeside property where only hotel guests can fish.
In 1945 the hotel was a place of liberation for 139 concentration camp survivors from 17 different countries.
You run into history everywhere you go in The Dolomites, which is yet another reason to put it on your bucket list.
Nestled next to the hotel is the chapel, Cappella Lago Di Braies.
It’s hard to imagine a church with a better panorama than this!
Blanketed in winter snow, this quaint piece of architecture is really at it’s best.
The far side of the lake is an ideal place to stop and simply be mindfully present.
There’s a pebbled beach where you can get up close & personal with the water (sadly, no swimming allowed).
Next to the beach is a lovely grassy area with tall pine trees with shaded areas. This is a nice spot to picnic or lay in the grass and relax.
This is one of those spots where stopping to appreciate your surroundings will add happiness to your day.
Braies is a great location to include in a Dolomite Itinerary, a South Tyrol wellness vacation, or a hiking themed adventure.
From here you can also travel east off the beaten path and explore the region of Friuli and The Friulane Dolomiti.
First of all, don’t be confused by the two names for everything here.
The South Tyrol province has native speaks of both Italian, German, & Ladin (a romance language native to the area).
Being such a beautiful location, Lago di Braies does get crowded. Especially during the summer. So, it pays to arrive early in the morning to secure a spot in one of the closer parking lots.
In the summer between July and September, the main road is closed off to visitors between 10-1. Arriving during those hours means you must park down the valley & take the bus (15 min plus wait time) or walk (1.5 hours).
The good news is, you can reserve a parking space ahead of time to avoid the uncertainty.
Alternatively, you could arrive after lunch when the crowds die down or visit in shoulder season.
In the winter it’s quite empty and beautiful in a different way. And there are worries about parking!
A Lago di Braies hike is definitely worthy of the Dolomite bucket list and with a little planning, you can make it an even more magical experience.
until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well
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