Lago di Braies Hike
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 out on this unforgettable hike.
To get to the start of Lago di Braies trailhead, 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
Lago di Braies Hike
Lago di Braies Trail Description
Start the Lago de Braies trail from the parking lot. Walk along 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.
Hiking trail highlights
Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee)
Considered one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes, the Lago di Braies is a can’t miss sight. Bright turquoise blue in colour, the lake lies in the heart of the Dolomites and is relatively easy to access.
We recommend visiting first thing in the morning to enjoy the lake far from the crowds that can be found, especially during the summer season. You can even enjoy an early morning paddle with a canoe rental to explore the surrounding mountains from a different viewpoint.
Frequently asked questions about Lago di Braies
Can you swim in Lago di braies?
Yes you absolutely can! But most don’t dare because the lake water is quite cold. If you consider yourself one of the brave ones, take a plunge!
How do I get from Venice to Lago braies?
If you don’t want to rent a car, it’s still possible to get to Lago Braies by public transport. Take the direct “Flixbus” from Venice Airport to Dobbiaco station– the central bus station in the Dolomites. From here, you can catch bus 442 to Lago di Braies. The total journey by public transport from Venice to Lago di Braies is approximately 4.5 hours.
How do I get from Milan to Lago braies?
You can choose to rent a car and make the four hour drive yourself, or if you prefer to take public transport, you can take the train via. Verona––though it will take you eight hours.
Find other great hikes in the Dolomites.
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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