Lake of Braies
Il Braies lake is one of the largest natural reservoirs in the The Dolomites.
Located at a height of 1496 meters of altitude, the Braies lake has an extension of about 31 hectares, with a length of about 1,2 km and a variable width between 300 and 400 meters.
This lake is located in the Braies valley, a lateral extension of the Val Pusteria about 97 km from Bolzano.
The lake lies at the foot of the Croda del Becco mountain range, which is reflected in the clear blue waters of this basin, creating wonderful views that are always different with the changing seasons.
Lake Braies became famous thanks to the TV series "A step from the sky" with Terence Hill.
Series that tells the life of Pietro (masterfully interpreted by Terence Hill) forest commander located there.
The series was so successful that the lake was the background of the same for several seasons, until 2018 for a total of 70 episodes.
How to reach us
Reaching Lake Braies is very simple: from Val Pusteria you just need to take the junction for Val di Braies, a junction located between the villages of Monguelfo and Villabassa.
Continuing for a few kilometers you will reach a crossroads, from which you will take the road (indicated with adequate signs) in the direction of the lake.
Along this road, you will pass the towns of Ferrara (Schmieden) and San Vito (St. Veit) to arrive at the lake car park, where there is also a large hotel restaurant called Pragser Wildsee hotels.
The car parks near Lake Braies are subject to charges.
Which means to use to reach the lake
From June to the end of September it is not recommended to reach Lake Braies by car, even if the parking lots have been further expanded, the influx of tourists is of such proportions as to make it difficult to arrive. In recent years, traffic blocks have also been introduced since the beginning of the Braies valley.
Therefore, the best solution becomes the shuttle buses that take you from the parking lots located in the area to the lake. The buses are paid and it is good to use the first few trips to avoid the crowds or even to remain on foot due to the large number of people.
Even reaching the beginning of the braies valley can be difficult in the height of the summer season. In this case it is better to travel by train that crosses the various villages such as Brunico, Dobbiaco and San Candido and then take the shuttle buses.
What to do at Lake Braies
The size and beauty of the lake allow you to take advantage of various different possibilities, even according to the season.
It is possible to walk the entire perimeter of the lake. Already circumnavigating the lake it will be possible to appreciate some significant differences between the various areas of the lake.
The western bank in fact has a flat and wide path, suitable for everyone, including people with reduced mobility and strollers.
The eastern side, on the other hand, is the wilder one; it is in fact steep and narrow with some stairways.
Usually in the summer the entire ring is open, while the eastern side could be closed in the winter season, due to the avalanche period.
The winter season and the harsh climate, however, help, in any case allowing the tour of the lake even in winter, walking directly on the surface of the lake itself, solidly frozen.
It is certainly the summer and autumn seasons that offer the most beautiful landscapes on Lake Braies. Depending on the position of the sun, the reflections and colors of the water vary, and in summer the high peaks of the Dolomites that surround it are reflected on the lake.
Then there are some typically summer activities:
"Dive" into the past by renting the rowing boats used up to a century ago to cross the lake ...
The boats that can be rented for "water excursions" are typically made of wood and allow you to get to the heart of the lake, or to the foot of the stone giants that surround it. Renting a boat has become one of the favorite practices of couples in love, a romantic way to visit Braies.
(Boat rental is possible from June to the end of September, from 10:00 to 17:00
Fishing is allowed in Lake Braies; however, it is always advisable to check the need for specific authorizations or permits at the hotel or in a tourist office.
Photographing Lake Braies
In every season the lake and the mountain ranges that surround it offer visitors and photographers breathtaking landscapes and views.
The clear and blue water present in summer is embellished by the corollary of mountains that are reflected in it.
Impossible not to photograph the Dolomites reflected on the water or the stilt house in living wood that contrasts with the blue of the water and the sky.
The media success of the Lake has led it to be one of the fundamental destinations for professional photographers and web influencers who visit theAlta Pusteria and more generally South Tyrol.
It seems impossible but the beauty of this place means that many decide to visit Lake Prorio to be able to take some pictures and share them on social networks.
Wonderful panorama that is repeated even in winter, where the sparkling white of the snow and ice creates a splendid contrast with the bright blue of the sky.
Other reasons to visit Lake Braies
Passionate about WWII history? Lake Braies was the scene of one of the last "clashes" between the retreating German army and the allied army.
In April 1945, Lake Braies witnessed the kidnapping of 141 prisoners, who were later freed by the American army.
This event aroused and still arouses much interest; some television documentaries have been created about it and at the hotel located on the edge of the lake, an association has been created specifically to remind the whole world of this event.
When to visit Lake Braies
there is no season when the lake does not have something interesting that is worth seeing.
The lake absorbs and enriches itself with the changing seasons, presenting ever-changing landscapes and opportunities throughout the year.
However, we advise you to visit it especially from June to November or from January to March.
In summer the lake offers the best for excursions and photographs, long days and optimal weather conditions, a clear sky allows you to take excellent photographs and be able to tackle the trails in the area at their best.
In autumn, however, the forest begins to "color" and these colors are reflected in the water, creating real landscape masterpieces, almost as if they were paintings.
From January to March, on the other hand, if you like snow and want to find the lake completely frozen and snow-covered.
How to dress to visit Lake Braies
The lake is located at about 1500 meters above sea level, this altitude "obliges" to always be well equipped to visit Lake Braies.
In summer, the temperature during the day can even reach thirty degrees, falling below 18 in the evening and early in the morning.
The ideal clothing is therefore the "onion" one, thus allowing rapid adaptation to the climatic variations typical of the high mountains, in the summer it is also always recommended to have a raincoat or a waxed jacket.
We advise you to read the article dedicated toclothing for hiking in the mountains in summer
Is Lake Braies suitable for families with children?
In our opinion, yes; children will love Lake Braies, in particular the promenade on the western side of the same and the possibility of renting boats in the summer.
Nature walks, horseback riding and endless fun will make your children fall in love; in the winter season it is the frozen surface of Lake Braies that reigns supreme, children will never want to come away!
Tips for a holiday on Lake Braies
The whole area of the Dolomites and in particular that of Alta Pusteria is very well equipped from a tourist point of view, offering different types of accommodation and entertainment that will satisfy the needs of all customers, even the most demanding ones.
There are many hotels throughout the valley, from family-run hotels to 4-star and more South Tyrolean wellness resorts.
The beauty of this area is that there are also excellent Bed and Breakfasts (known in South Tyrol as Garnì) and holiday apartments that allow you to spend a holiday within everyone's reach, and in some ways also economical.
Find Summer Offers
The best offers in the mountains in summer, in hotels, bed and breakfasts or holiday apartments