Lago di Braies
The hike to this stunning Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee in German) is one of the best hikes in the Dolomites. It is one of the most beautiful lakes on earth! This pleasant walk around the lake gives a variety of wonderful views. You really can’t miss this hike.
From Cortina take the SS51 North from town towards Dobbiaco, where you go left (west) on SS49. Soon after follow the signs for Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies and turn left. Follow the signs as the road goes right at Segheria. Park as close to the Lake as possible, we often use P2, though note that you will have to pay a fee.
|When to do|
May to September
From the parking lot, go out to the road you drove in on and turn right, heading towards the beautiful Hotel Lago di Braies. Go to the left of the hotel and you are immediately faced with the beautiful Lago di Braies. We prefer to make the trip around the lake clockwise, as it’s a bit easier coming down some of the steep bits, but both routes are straightforward.
Almost immediately, you’ll walk past an atmospheric, wooden boathouse. If you are here early or late in the day, views from this spot can be magical in that golden dawn or dusk light. Continue on the path. The trail will contour away from the lake to the left. Next, you’ll cross the bridge you come upon. From here on, you’ll be strolling lakeside, with unfolding views the entire way.
The route goes beneath a mountain, with the route looking carved out at points. The route does gain some altitude here, and there are some sections that can be a bit steep for kids and wholly unsuitable for strollers. Thankfully there are some wooden – albeit a little flimsy – railings. If you do have children with you keep them close!
As you make your final descent, coming to the end of the lake, you’ll see a path on your left leading away from the lake. This path can take you up to Rifugio Biella, which is a fine destination but beyond this hike. Instead, look across to the series of beaches that fringe the end of the lake. These beaches are especially noticeable when the water is low, and they are fun places to lounge.
After taking in the view, you’ll start your return along the other side of the lake. This route is more straightforward, less ups and downs. As you return to the Hotel, you will pass a delightful little chapel. If you have a stroller you may consider simply walking out and back on this route.
Once back at the hotel you go back along the road to the car park.
If you want an easier walk, go out and back on the right-hand side of the lake. The left-hand side is a challenge for younger children or people with reduced mobility. The right-hand side sees some families using strollers.
Enjoy a drink at either the atmospheric Hotel Lago di Braies or the quick-serve just beyond it.
If you take a boat out, take care to note the wind direction. We saw people misjudge the wind and have a terrible time coming back in.
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