Lake Vernago is located in the municipality of Senales (1600m asl), in the province of Bolzano (Trentino - Alto Adige), has an extension of 1,26kmq, a depth of 56 meters and can be navigated by canoe.
Reaching Lake Vernago can be reached directly by car, it is over an hour from Bolzano. You must first arrive in Merano, then follow the State Road 36 up to Senales and finally climb along the provincial road that runs through the entire Val Senales. The lake is located near the town of Vernago, set in a beautiful setting between mountains, woods and meadows.
The origin of Lake Vernago dates back to the 60s of the last century, when the creation of a dam to power the Naturno hydroelectric plant was completed, blocking the course of the Rio Senales. These works led to the disappearance of some areas of the town of Vernago, submerged by the waters. Even today, when the water level of Lake Vernago drops a little, it is possible to see the bell tower of the old town church rising from the water.
But the works, in addition to the practical utility for the production of energy, also led to a great development from the tourist point of view: now thanks to the lake the area in summer is frequented by tourists of all kinds, who choose Vernago and its lake. how starting point for excursions and trails, such as the one that leads to the Senales glacier (where the Similaun Mummy, known as Ötzi was found in 1991) or to the Similaun Refuge, at an altitude of 3.019 meters above sea level. Less experienced hikers, or simply those who just want to take a nice walk relaxing, they can opt for the path that surrounds the lake, passing by small waterfalls and admiring a wonderful view of the stretch of water and the mountains of Val Senales. The complete tour takes about 2 hours and is suitable for the whole family, but it is not suitable for strollers.
Those who like to practice water sports on the lake of Vernago will have the opportunity to rent canoes or kayaks, take a boat ride, or fish: there is in fact a large amount of fish such as trout or pike. Sheep transhumance takes place twice a year in Vernago, so in June they leave for the summer pastures, while in September they return to the valley: on this occasion a splendid festival is held, one of the most traditional events in Val Senales.
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