In the recent years, Braies Lake (Lago di Braies in Italian) has been one of the most photographed lakes in the world!
The pictures taken here, have been turned viral and nowadays a lot of tourists come to visit it and even only for taking those wonderful photos of theirselves on a rowboat.
Just like me, as you can see, ahahaha!
WHERE IS IT
Braies Lake (Lago di Braies in italian and Pragser Wildsee in German) is a little lake situated in Braies Valley (Val di Braies), 97 kilometers away from Bolzano, South Tyrol.
It is really close to Austria, indeed, the first language you will see on road signs is German.
Visiting this place not only means seeing a lake, but also admiring the magnificent scenario offered by the beautiful Italian Dolomites.
HOW TO GO THERE
WITH THE BUS 🚌
The line 442 brings you directly from Dobbiaco/Villabassa to Braies lake. I leave you HERE the bus time table and remember that if you take the bus you must book the ticket online.
BY FOOT 🚶
This is the best way to reach the lake for all the adventure enthusiasts!
There are three paths to reach the lake:
1.From Segheria parking lot in Braies Valley to Braies Lake:
The Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell path runs from Segheria in Braies Valley to Braies Lake. Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell was a pioneering alpine climber. Information boards along this themed walk talk of his life and work.
This easy walk is also suitable for families and older people.
4.8 km | approx. 1.5 hours | 270 meters elevation gain.
2.From Monguelfo to Braies Lake:
From Monguelfo railway station path n. 2 A runs to Ferrara in Braies Valley. From there, the walk continues on path n. 1, the Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell themed walk, on to Braies Lake.
This easy walk is suitable for families.
12.5 km | approx. 3 hours | 400 meters elevation gain.
3.From Villabassa to Braies Lake:
From Villabassa railway station path n. 1 runs to Ferrara in Braies Valley. From there, the walk continues on path n. 1, the Viktor Wolf Edler von Glanvell themed walk, on to Braies Lake.
11 km | approx. 3 hours | 215 meters elevation gain.
BY BICYCLE 🚴
Wherever you decide to start, a lovely cycle path runs through Pusteria Valley and then enter in Braies Valley. The last stretch is along country road 47.
Please note that it is not possible to cycle around the lake.
BY CAR 🚗
There are different ways to reach the lake depending from your actual position. Always check out Google Maps to know the best and shorter road.
The first thing you should know before going to the lake concerns the parking. As I already told you, in the recent years there have been a boom of tourists. That’s because of the photos taken here, which have become viral, and because a famous Italian TV series have been recorded right on the shores of the lake.
As a consequence, there are long queues for basically everything you want to do. To park the car, to have lunch at the restaurant or fast food, there are not enough chairs etc etc…
In order to avoid wasting time, I want to give you several essential advices:
1.Book online your car place
Although the queues, all the services offered by the structures close to the lake are really well organized. Once you arrive, there is a huge parking (only for cars) which costs €10,00 a day.
If you are interested, I leave you the direct link to the official website here below.
Before this huge parking there is another one which is smaller and costs €6,00 a day. The difference is that here is not possible to book a car place so you just have to be lucky.
2.Try to arrive early
Another way to avoid queues is to arrive early in the morning. The lake is really hidden among pine trees and to reach it is not that simple. The sooner you leave the better. Otherwise, book a car place and go to the lake whenever you want.
3.Chose the right date for your visit at the lake
I really suggest you to go to Braies Lake during these specifics months: September, October, November, the second two weeks of January, April or May.
That’s because during the other months it is full of tourists.
The Hotel Lago di Braies can look back on more than a hundred years of success.
It was opened on July 10, 1899. Guests from the highest aristocratic circles of the Danube Monarchy spent long summer nights here. For example, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, resided in the Hotel Lago di Braies with his family and entourage.
The hotel’s historical legacy is closely linked to the history of the well-known hostage transport at the end of World War II. 139 prominent prisoners from 17 European countries were held hostage by the SS in the Dachau National Socialist concentration camp and taken to the “Alpine Fortress” of South Tyrol. On April 30, 1945, the prisoners in Villabassa were liberated by the German Wehrmacht and brought to Lago di Braies. Here, the hotel owner “Mrs. Emma” welcomed the prisoners and made it possible for them to “return to life”.
WHAT TO DO
Once arrived at the lake, you can immerse yourself into the deepest nature by strolling along the path that surrounds it or decide to rent the famous rowing boat (€29,00 for 1h / €19,00 for 30min).
I didn’t write it yet because I think it is pretty obvious but…TO TAKE AMAZING PHOTOS IS A MUST HERE!
According to the legend, a population of savages lived in the mountains overlooking Braies Lake. The tribe was peaceful, consisting of women and men which held gold and numerous precious stones.
These men did not possess the stones for their value, but for the strength and energy they gave to their hearts. With gold and stones they also used to make objects and jewels to honor them.
One day, shepherds came into the valley to feed their flocks. In a short time the new visitors came into contact with the savages who paid them homage, as a sign of welcome, jewelry and gold.
The shepherds at the sight of all that glitter, lost their minds and became eager to have more and more jewels and gold.
It was not so easy to find gold and precious stones in the valley, so the only way to obtain them, according to the shepherds, was to steal them from the savages.
Savages, seeing their gold diminishing, decided to protect it. So they found a solution that changed the appearance of the entire valley. They dug the springs to increase the flow and the water was channelled to the center of the valley to form a large lake that separated the tribal territories from the shepherds.
Savages hid their treasures in the springs while the water eroded the gold and crossed the precious stones giving the Braies lake the shining color that we see today.