How to Visit Lago di Braies Italy [Your 2024 Guide]

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During our family trip in 2022, we didn’t take the boat ride as we had a climb of about 3,000 ft ahead of us and were concerned about making it in time. However, we ended up making it with time to spare, and we plan on taking a 30-minute boat ride on our next visit, with our furry friend in tow.

Lago di Braies Italy, also known as the “Pearl of the Dolomites,” is a true gem nestled in the heart of the Dolomites. As someone who has been here with my family for the past 3 summers to hike the Alta Via 1, I can say it’s definitely worth a visit and the planning needed to avoid the crowds.

I’ve included video, podcast and written tips and tricks to make it a great experience for you and your family and friends.

Short on time? Jump straight to the directions and parking instructions.

Overview Lago di Braies Italy

Where to Stay: Hotel Lago di Braies

Best Homebase: Cortina d’ Ampezzo

Best Activity: Handcrafted Wooden Boat Ride

Altitude: 1469 meters (4,820ft) above sea level
UNESCO site: Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park

Getting there by car: GPS, Bus 442 from Dobbiaco, Private Transfer from Venice

Book a private tour of the Dolomites from Venice (2.5 hours drive)
⛰ Book a Self-Guided Dolomites Hut to Hut Tour

Lago di Braies Italy

The crystal clear waters, picturesque surroundings, and rich cultural Ladin history make it outstanding. It’s the starting point of one of the best trekking trails in Europe, the Alta Via 1.

But, it’s the setting of a very popular Italian TV show, so it can get crowded. Don’t worry, I’ll share tips on how to get there early and use public transport to avoid frustration.

🛎️ Need a place to stay? Book earlier than you think.


💞 Podcasts?

🥾Trails Worth Hiking
SpotifyAppleWebsite. He takes a deep dive into long distance trails and the history and mythology behind Lago di Braies.

✈️ Amateur Traveler focuses on the practical travel and highlights history : WebsiteSpotifyApple.

🍷 Streets and Eats is all about the food and experience : WebsiteSpotifyApple.

Check out my top picks for the best hotels located near this breathtaking lake.

Lago di Braies TLDR; The most stunning Dolomites lake and a true gem, but not a hidden gem. It’s perfect for day strolls, picnics, or the trailhead to many exhilarating hikes with free entrance.

Keep reading to find out the exact times you can rent a handcrafted wooden row boat for one of a kind photos!

Lake Braies Dolomites Video

My family has gone back 3 years in a row so you’ll see some changes from girl to teenager 🥹…

Lago di Braies Travel Guide

In this guide, I will first share with you some tips about Lago di Braies such as:

  • An easy Lago di Braies map
  • How to get to Lago di Braies by public transportation or car
  • How to park at Lago di Braies (It’s not easy)
  • The best time of year to visit & weather

These quick tips will then be followed by the top 5 things to do once you get to Lago di Braies.

Related Resources:

Lago di Braies Map

👎🏻 Click on this map for an interactive map for GPS directions.

Google maps Lago di Braies

How to use this map / Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.

Lago di Braies – How to Get There

Nestled in the stunning Braies Dolomites, Lago di Braies (known as Prager Wildsee in German) can be found in the picturesque Valle di Braies (or Pragser Tal) Valley. This valley is situated in the Braies (or Prags) region of the South Tyrol in Northeastern Italy, and is a side valley of the Val Pusteria (or Pustertal) area.

Lake Prags is one of the main attractions of the Alta Pusteria Dolomites region.


Please note that this area in the Dolomites is a mix of cultures from Ladin, German and Italian so you may see signs in all three languages.

NOTE: Lago di Braies (Italian) and Pragser Wildsee (German) are the same thing and you’ll often see multiple names for the same places.

Cortina d’Ampezzo is the main hub for this part of the Dolomites for people to stay, eat and make transportation connections.

Getting to Lago di Braies By Public Transportation

parking lago di braies
Courtesy of

How to Get to Lago di Braies

  • By train: The nearest train station is in Niederdorf – Prags, which is about 10 km away from the lake. From there, you can take a bus 442 or a taxi to reach the lake. Most people will need to change trains at Franzensfeste station to Regional 1877 Lienz train the Franzensfeste near the town of Fortezza.
  • The closest big airport: Venice Marco Polo international airport about 2.5 – 3 hours away. You can take a paid private shuttle, bus or rent a car.
  • Lago di Braies nearest airport: Bolzano Airport, which is about 80km away. From there you can rent a car or take a bus.

Venice to Lake Braies by Bus

It is a beautiful 2.5-3 hour drive by car or you can use public transport.

➡️ The Cortina Express bus goes from the Venice airport to the Cortina d’Ampezzo central bus station and takes only 2 hours and 10 minutes and costs 20 euros. They have timetables and you can book your tickets ahead of time.

➡️ To get to the Pragser Wildsee (Lake Braies) from Cortina d’Ampezzo, take the SAD Bus 445 to Dobbiaco autostazione. It departs 6 times a day. (40 min)

➡️ From Dobbiaco autostazione – transfer buses to bus 442 to Pragser Wildsee (30 min).

🚃 You can also use OMIO to find the best train, bus and airline connections within Europe.

Getting to Lake Braies By Car

Lago di Braies can be easily reached by car from the nearby towns of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Bolzano, and Innsbruck. It is located in the province of South Tyrol and is well connected to major roads.

However, the roads close most of the day and it is essential to have pre-paid parking booked online between July 10th and September 10th if you drive in between 9:00 am -4:00pm.

Even then, sometimes you can get stuck in a really nasty traffic jam. Sometimes it’s a cow in the road, but mostly it’s a shitshow of tourists.

All of this can be avoided by being an early bird 😍 or taking public transport.

Nearby Town/CityDriving DistanceDriving Time
San Candido, Val Pusteria21 km23 minutes
Dobbiaco, Val Pusteria16 km18 minutes
Cortina d’Ampezzo46 km50 minutes
Bolzano101 km1 hour 30 minutes
Ortisei, Val Gardena91 km1 hour 30 minutes
Venice200 km3 hours

Note: Vehicle restrictions in Braies Valley are in place from July 10th through September 10th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm to reduce traffic during peak summer season. Plan ahead to avoid these restrictions.

If you want to rent a car make sure you have an international driver’s license. This can be picked up at your local AAA office in the US.

🚗 If renting a car, I always use Discover Cars as they search for the best local and international prices to get a good deal.


Between July 10th and September 10th, driving access to Lago di Braies is RESTRICTED between 9 am and 4 pm.


  • You can still drive to Lago di Braies BEFORE 9 am or AFTER 4 pm.
  • During the day, Lake Braies can only be reached by PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, on foot, by bicycle, or on presentation of an online reservation or a valid transit permit.

STOP SCROLLING: Car Parking at Lago di Braies : Book ahead in Summer!!!!

Summer Parking Recommendations

If you’re planning on visiting Lake Prags between 9 am and 4 pm, pre-book your parking on When booking your Lake Braies parking, there are two options:

PARKING AREA P1 (8:00 – 18:00) This car park is located only 800 meters from the lake. It costs 15 EUR to reserve a parking space here. You can walk to Lago di Braies from this car park.

PARKING AREA SÄGE / SEGHERIA (8:00 – 16:00) This car park is located 5.5 km from Lago di Braies. It costs 9 EUR to park here. There are shuttles that run approximately every 30 minutes (between 9 am and 4 pm except during lunch) to Lake Braies. Shuttle tickets cost 5 EUR per person one-way. You do not need to pre-book the shuttle ticket.

We recommend booking Parking Area P1 because it’s closer to the lake (no shuttle necessary).

They make parking a pain in the butt at this mountain lake, so it is recommended to park your car in Dobbiaco (for free) and take the public bus into the Nature park to reduce traffic overwhelm and environmental damage.

Off Season (Outside July 10-September 10) Parking Recommendations

By the Lakeside chapel at lago di braies.

If you arrive by car, you can park directly near the lake. There are four parking lots that are open all day. I would always bring EURO coins to pay just in case your bank card doesn’t work.

P4 Parking

This is only for the hotel guests or if you’re willing to shell out 38 euros for a spot. Whew. It’s by reservation online only, I’m not sure if it will accept you in summer.

It’s the closest to the lake. Book here.

P3 Parking

Located just 200 meters away from the lakeshore, the P3 car park is not only the largest but also the closest reasonably priced parking lot to Lago di Braies. This gated parking lot operates on a pay-on-exit system.

P3 Car Park InformationDetails
Distance to Lakeshore200 meters
Best Option ForShort visits : First 15 minutes are free.
3 Hour Fee (7am-5pm)6 EUR
Additional Fee80 cents for every 30 minutes after the first 3 hours
Maximum Daily Rate12 EUR
RV/Camper PricingSlightly more, Motorbikes slightly less
Payment Method“Kasse/Cassa” after your visit (cash or debit card) / Credit card payment at Hotel Lago di Braies
Lost Ticket Fee50 EUR

P2 Parking

P2 Car Park InformationDetails
Distance to Lakeshore400 meters
Best Parking Option forLonger hikes (over 3 hours)
Parking Fee (per day)Cars: 6 EUR / RVs & Camper Vans: 12 EUR
Overnight Fee for Camper Vans8 EUR
Payment MethodCash only (collected by staff)

P1 Parking

P1 Parking Lot InformationDetails
Distance to Lake Prags800 meters
AmenitiesSmall kiosk, drinks, snacks, toilette
Parking FeeCars: 6 EUR / Motorbikes: 2 EUR / Buses: 12 EUR / Campers: 9 EUR
Payment MethodPay-and-display ticket machine (coins or card)

How We Get There to Avoid the Crowds in Summer

If going in the high season, don’t even bother if you aren’t there by 0900. You’ll be in a miserable herd of people and traffic.

Want to avoid all the parking nonsense? Ditch the car in Dobbiaco and take the bus into the park.

Car to Dobbiaco then take a Bus into the National Park

I would recommend not using the direct car park at the lake, but rather to park your car near the Dobbiaco autostazione for the final 30 min commute to the lake.

Park your car in Dobbiaco at free autoparks around town to visit Lago di Braies. You’ll see a blue parking symbol in one of several obvious parking lots.

Then take the 30 minute Bus 442 from the Dobbiaco Autostatione parking area to Pragser Wildsee.

Book bus ticket online here: It is currently 10 euros per person at takes you directly to Lago di Braies Italy otherwise known as Pragser Wildsee.

You must book it ahead online during the summer season.

Best Time to Visit Lago di Braies Lake

Mid-June through Late October

Lago di Braies in winter can be magical also, but the month of September and October offer the least crowds and highest drama of colors. Due to the high elevation and potential poor weather, it is often a summer destination.

The Dolomites in July and August can often be Crowded
  • August is Italian/French/German vacation time, so you’ll be fighting for space.
  • July has the best weather for families that want to visit during school break.
  • Early June is chilly you can run into some snow. Same for late September and early October.

Lago di Braies Weather

The Lago di Braies temperature is variable and I’ve listed each season below. Keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly, especially in the mountains, so it’s always best to be prepared for all possibilities.

If you want to catch sunrise, use the photopills app to plan as it varies greatly per month.

  1. Spring: The weather in spring is usually mild, with temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.
  2. Summer: The weather in summer is usually warm, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius (59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.
  3. Fall: The weather in fall can be mild to cool, with temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees Celsius (41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. The fall foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for photos and the lake is much lower.
  4. Winter: The weather in winter can be cold, with temperatures ranging from -5 to 5 degrees Celsius (23 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. Be prepared for cold weather and likely snow.

It is highly likely there will be short afternoon thunderstorms during summer.

Tips for the Top 5 Things to Do at Braies Lake Dolomites

1. Walk Around the Braies Lake

The area around Lago di Braies Nature Park offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels. Take a family hike and explore the beautiful alpine scenery, the lakeside chapel and easy hiking path.

The walk around Lago di Braies is approximately 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) long and takes about 1 – 1.5 hours to complete at a leisurely pace and stroller friendly.

The walk is relatively flat and easy, with a gravel path that circles the lake. It is a great way to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

It’s a popular walk, especially during the summer months, but it can also be done all year round. During the winter, it could be snowed in, so please check the conditions before planning your trip.

Please note that the time it takes to complete the walk can vary depending on factors such as the pace of your walk and the amount of time you spend stopping to take in the views or take photos.

2. Take a Wooden Row Boat Ride on Lake Braies Italy

Take a boat ride on the crystal clear waters of lake Braies and enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Lago di Braies Boat Rental Information

Lago di Braies Handcrafted Wooden Boat Rental
Open:Late May to End of October
Max 4 people in one boat
High Season:Mid-June to Early September
Hours: High Season: 0700 – 1900 (7am to 9pm)
Shoulder Season: 1000 – 1700 (10 am to 5 pm)
Price:30 min = 25 euros
60 min = 35 euros
Sunrise Special:Boats are first come first served except 10 boats which can be pre-booked online 4 days in advance
Kids, Dogs:Kids under 16 need an adult and dogs are allowed on boats
Personal Photoshoot:Upon request, it is possible to book the stilt house exclusively for yourself in the morning. 
For €150 you will have the unique filming location all to yourself 1.5h before the rental opens. 
Also you can use two of our handmade wooden boats.
You must bring your own photographer.
Info and reservations on: [email protected]
Updated 2023

For the most up to date information check out the boat rental website here.

3. Enjoy a Picnic on a Pebble Beach on the Shores of Lago di Braies Dolomites

Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect Alpine picnic at the best blue lake Italy:

  1. Choose the right spot: Lago di Braies offers several beautiful picnic spots either directly on the pebble beaches or in the shade of tall trees. Of course, the farther you get from the parking lot the more chances of having a quiet picnic.
  2. Food: There is a small cafe that sells coffee, beer, wine and food next to the parking lot that you could take to a picnic or you can pack your own food and drinks. Many supermarkets will be closed on Sundays.
  3. Bring the right equipment for Lake di Braies: Bring a blanket or a picnic mat to sit on, as well as plates, cups, utensils, and napkins.
  4. Plan for the weather: Lago di Braies can get very hot in the summer, so make sure to bring sunscreen and a hat. Also bring a jacket or a sweater as the weather can change quickly.
  5. Be respectful of the environment: Remember that Lago di Braies is a natural reserve, so please make sure to leave the area as you found it and don’t leave any trash behind.
hiking lago di braies

4. Hike Lago di Braies to Seekofel Hut for Lunch

This is a fantastic and challenging day hike to a high elevation mountain hut called “Rifugio Biella” or “Seekofel hütte”. There’s probably another name for it, but these are the 2 most popular that you’ll see on google maps.

Hiking from Lago di Braies to Seekofel Hut is a popular trail in the Dolomites region of Italy but its not for the faint of heart. Here are some details about the hike:

Distance and Duration11.5 km (7.96 miles), 6-7 hours to complete
Difficulty LevelIntermediate, with some steep sections and rocky terrain. Proper hiking equipment required.
Trail ConditionsWell-marked and well-maintained, with one rope-assisted section. Open from June to September.
Elevation Gain1,200 meters (3,250 feet)
Starting PointParking lot near Lago di Braies
Ending PointSeekofel Hut, a mountain refuge offering accommodation, food, and drinks like Venison tagilatelle.
SceneryStunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, alpine meadows, forests, and small streams.

It’s always a good idea to check the trail conditions and the weather forecast before starting the hike, and to be prepared for changes in weather. It’s also important to be aware of your limits and not to push yourself too hard, and to bring enough water, food and proper gear.

lago di braies hike

5. Embark on a Magical Hut to Hut Hike on the Alta Via 1

Are you tired of the mundane daily grind?

Are you craving for adventure? Well, look no further, for the Alta via 1 hike in the Dolomites is here to save you from the drudgery of your everyday life!

Imagine yourself surrounded by majestic peaks, crystal clear alpine lakes and a panoramic view of the Italian Dolomites as you hike with a backpack from one mountain hut to the next.

This hike is a true test of one’s endurance and grit, but fear not, for with my Alta Via 1 guide, you can traverse some of the most majestic mountains in the world and eat really delicious dinners and Italian drinks each night.

Hiking the Alta Via 1 hut to hut trail is an unforgettable experience that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes of the Italian Dolomites without the crowds. With breathtaking views, challenging terrain, and cozy mountain huts, this hike is a must-do for any adventure seeker.

lago di braies hike lago di braies italia
a sneaky view of Tre Cime from AV1

Too much to read? Love podcasts?

Listen to our 3 different long form stories about hiking the Alta Via 1 that starts directly at Lago di Braies on multiple trips that we’ve done with family and friends over the years to learn if it’s for you.

Free Alta Via 1 Hiking Resources: Trekking Lago di Braies

lago di braies hiking lake

6. BONUS: Stress Free Tours into the Dolomites from Venice or Bolzano

Coming from Venice?

From Venice, this full day Dolomites tour, offers a chance to see the highlights of the Dolomites like Val Gardena, Val Pusteria and Lago di Braies in a day trip with a return to Venice in the evening.

If you want to take away all the stress of driving to Lago di Braies, book an English-speaking van to take you to the heart of the Dolomites directly from the airport.

Bolzano Lago di Braies Tours

If you aren’t interested in booking hotels in the Dolomites but want a full day tour from Bolzano, this tour will provide a guide, transport and history of the highlights of the Dolomites.

Where to Stay at Lago di Braies

Best Luxury Stay

braies see
Photo courtesy of

The best choice for a luxury experience directly on the lake is the Hotel Lago di Braies and you might want to book in the winter for the following summer.

Hotel Lago di Braies is a beautiful hotel located on the shores of the famous Lago di Braies. The hotel offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding Dolomite mountains, making it the perfect place to stay for those looking to experience the natural beauty of the area.

The rooms at Braies hotel are spacious, clean, and well-appointed, with modern amenities and comfortable beds.

One of the highlights of staying at the Hotel Lago di Braies is the opportunity to experience the lake without the day crowd.

In my experience, the food was delicious, with a variety of local and international dishes to choose from.

The hotel also has a wellness center where you can relax and unwind after a day of exploring the Dolomites.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay at Hotel Lago di Braies and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a comfortable, relaxing and scenic place to stay while truly soaking up Lago di Braies.

Best Elegant Spa Hotel

Photo courtesy of

The Cristallo spa hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo is a luxurious and elegant property, offering guests a relaxing and refined experience.

The hotel also offers a full-service spa, complete with a sauna, steam room, essential oil shower station (like a drive thru carwash but you’re the car and you’re getting spruce mist and not wax) and hot tub, as well as a fitness center. The hotel’s restaurant serves delicious, gourmet cuisine and has a great selection of wines.

The hotel’s staff is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that guests (many who look like oligarchs) have a pleasant stay.

Overall, the Cristallo spa hotel is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-end man in a tux playing piano in the ballroom type of relaxing vacation in the beautiful town of Cortina d’Ampezzo only one hour from Lago di Braies Italy.

Best Budget Hotel Stay

Photo courtesy of

Hotel Crodo Rossa in the Dolomites is a bit of a mixed bag, like a parrot that’s been dead for days. The views are absolutely stunning, like something out of a fairy tale, but the room we stayed in was about as comfortable as a kick in the shins from an angry llama.

The staff were as friendly as a cheese shop that has run out of cheese, but the salad was quite good and the meat a little funky, like something you’d expect from a top-notch medieval banquet.

All in all, it’s a bit like a comedy of errors, but with a beautiful mountain backdrop. So if you’re looking for a bit of a laugh and a great view, Hotel Croda Rosso might be just the place for you, but if you’re looking for luxury and comfort, you might want to look elsewhere.

Lago di Braies Camping

Lago di Braies is a popular camping destination in the Dolomites region of Italy. There are several camping options available around the Pragser Wildsee camping area, including:

  1. Camping Olympia: Book a camping spot here and they even offer a seasonal pool and spa.
  2. Dry Camping: If you have a van or small RV you can dry camp in the parking lot overnight but there are no amenities.
  3. Wild camping Pragser Wildsee: Camping in the wild is not allowed in the surrounding area of Lago di Braies due to it being a UNESCO world heritage site. This is also why most people opt to stay at a rifugio vs camping within the nature park or stay down in the valleys.
  4. Glamping Lago di Braies: Check out this full list of glamping sites in the Dolomites for a remarkable experience.

It’s always a good idea to check the availability and the regulations of the campsite before planning your trip, and make sure to book in advance, especially during the peak season.

Braies Lake Winter

Also, please note that camping is seasonal, so not all the sites will be open all year, especially in winter.

lago di braies hike

Photography Tips for Lago di Braies

You’re really not going to get much privacy here at Dolomites Lago di Braies for photography, but the best tip is to go as early as possible before the crowds.

Here are some tips beyond the obvious:

  1. Timing is key: The best time to take photos in the Italian dolomites in Lake Braies is during the golden hour, just before sunset or just after sunrise. The warm light during these times creates a beautiful contrast with the cool blue of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
  2. Pay for the Sunrise Experience. Book online here for Lake Braies photoshoot.
  3. Use a tripod: A tripod will help you keep your camera steady and capture sharp images. It is especially helpful when taking long exposures to capture the movement of the water.
  4. Experiment with angles: Try different angles and perspectives to capture the beauty of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Get low to the ground for a different perspective or climb to a higher vantage point for a panoramic view.
  5. Use a polarizing filter: A polarizing filter can help reduce glare and reflections on the water surface and enhance the colors of the sky and the mountains.
  6. Use a wide-angle lens: A wide-angle lens is great for capturing the grandeur of the mountains and the expanse of the lake.
  7. Take advantage of the weather: Different weather conditions can create different moods and atmospheres. Take pictures during a foggy or a stormy day, the clouds might add drama to the photos.
  8. Play with the light: Use the natural light to your advantage. Try to position your subject so that the sun is behind you or at an angle to create a sense of depth and dimension in your photos.
  9. Be mindful of your surroundings: Remember that Lago di Braies is a natural reserve, so please be mindful of your impact and follow the rules and regulations to keep the place preserved for future visitors.

By following these tips, you should be able to take some stunning photos of Lago di Braies and its beautiful surroundings.

dolomites legends lago italy

Ladin Culture and Legends

Italy Lake Braies – Home of the Italian detective drama “Un passo dal cielo”. Columbo never had such beauty to distract him from solving the crimes as forest inspector Pietro does protecting Nature and life.

But for more ancient culture we’ve got to look to the Ladin culture who still represents about 30,000 people who still learn the Ladin language in school today, along with Italian and German.

Lady of the Lake

Once upon a time in the land of Lago di Braies, there was a beautiful and mysterious lady who lived at the bottom of the lake.

They called her “The Lady of the Lake” and she was known to be the protector of the lake, granting good luck to those who saw her. But, beware! She only appeared to those who were pure of heart and true to their word.

Many brave knights, and even a few foolish ones, set out to find the lady, but only a select few were deemed worthy by her. They say that the lady was so stunning, that upon seeing her, they were instantly struck by Cupid’s arrow and were forever under her spell.

But, as with all good legends, there was a catch.

The lady would only reveal herself to those who were truly pure of heart and true to their word. 

Golden Fish

One of the most well-known Ladin legends about Lago di Braies is the story of the “Golden Fish.”

According to the legend, a golden fish lives in the lake and whoever catches it will be granted unlimited wealth and happiness. However, the fish is said to be very difficult to catch, and only the bravest and most skilled fishermen are able to catch it.

Crystal blue lake shines, Majestic mountains tower high, Peaceful serenity.

Treasure Guarded by Spirits

There is also a story about a treasure that is supposed to be buried at the bottom of the lake, which is said to be guarded by the spirits of the Dolomites. The legend tells that the treasure will only be revealed to those who are truly worthy, and will bring great wealth and happiness to whoever finds it.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Lago di Braies and hope to catch a glimpse of the lady or get some treasure, make sure you’re not just in it for the Instagram likes and that you’re not planning on lying to your significant other about where you’ve been.

Dolomites History and Geology

These mountains are primarily composed of dolomite and limestone, which gives them their characteristic light-colored, jagged peaks.

The type of rock that forms the Dolomites is a specific type of limestone called dolomite rock. Dolomite rock is a type of sedimentary rock that is formed from the accumulation and solidification of marine organisms and sediment.

It is made up mainly of the mineral dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate), which gives the rock its light-colored appearance. Dolomite rock is also rich in fossils, and many different types of fossilized marine organisms can be found within the rock.

In addition to dolomite, the Dolomites also contain some other types of rock such as:

  • Limestone: A type of sedimentary rock composed mainly of calcium carbonate, often formed from the accumulation of shells, coral and other marine organisms.
  • Sandstone: A type of sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral grains, rock fragments or organic material.
  • Conglomerate: A type of sedimentary rock composed of rounded pebbles, cobbles, and boulders cemented together.
lago di braies itália
there’s always hot cocoa for bribes on the top

The unique combination of these different types of rock, along with the tectonic forces that have shaped the mountains over millions of years, has resulted in the Dolomites’ distinctive, jagged peaks and rugged terrain.

The Dolomites are also known for their unique landscapes, including pinnacles, spires, towers and deep canyons, that are the result of erosion and weathering of the dolomite rock. However, the Lago di Braies altitude rarely goes over 11,000 ft.

lago di braies

FAQ Lago di Braies Italy

Is it possible to swim in Lago di Braies?

Yes! It’s one of the few Dolomites lakes you can swim in, but it’s a very cold glacier fed lake. You should be a polar bear to enjoy it.

What is the temperature of the water in Lago di Braies Italy in the summer?

COLD! 50-68 degrees F is about the highest it will get in summer.

Are there any boat rental services available on Lago di Braies?

Yes, see the section above with all the details, hours and prices.

Are there any guided hiking or trekking tours available around Lago di Braies?

The best way to explore the hiking around Lago di Braies Italy is to take a self-guided Alta Via 1 hut to hut hike starting at Lago di Braies. You’ll get away from the crowds and have a truly inspiring experience.

Is there a designated area for camping around Lago di Braies?

Yes, Camping Olympia is only 20 min away from the lake and directly on the bus route. Book a camping spot here.

Can I bring my dog to Lago di Braies?

Absolutely, but you’ll want to maintain good leash control as there are a mix of people from various cultures that may fear dogs.

Is there a place to rent equipment for water sports such as kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding on Lago di Braies?

No. There is only a place to rent wooden rowboats, but they are remarkably charming and perfect for a proposal spot.

Are there any restrictions on drones flying around Lago di Braies?

To fly a drone in Italy, you need to be at least 14 years old and have a remote pilot certificate or be under the direct supervision of someone who holds one. Additionally, drones weighing more than 25 kilograms must be registered with the Italian Civil Aviation Authority.

Can you fish in Lago di Braies?


Is Lago di Braies Worth it?

Absolutely, 100% it is worth it to visit the most beautiful lake in the Dolomites, but go early to avoid the crowds.

How to get to Lago di Braies from Venice?

It is a beautiful 2.5-3 hour drive by car or you can use public transport.
➡️ The Cortina Express bus goes from the Venice airport to the Cortina d’Ampezzo central bus station and takes only 2 hours and 10 minutes and costs 20 euros. This website has prices, timetables and you can book your tickets ahead of time.

➡️ To get to the Pragser Wildsee (Lake Braies) from Cortina d’Ampezzo, take the SAD Bus 445 to Dobbiaco autostazione. It departs 6 times a day. (40 min)

➡️ From Dobbiaco autostazione – transfer buses to bus 442 to Pragser Wildsee (30 min).

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.