High in the Dolomites: Lago di Braies

April 7, 2016 / Places
Lago di Braies, Trentino Alto-Adige
Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (8)

Probably the most beautiful lake I have ever seen, Lago di Braies glistened like pale green glass when we arrived at its shores.

Situated within the natural park of Fanes-Senes-Braies, Lago di Braies (Lake Prags in German) was definitely on my agenda when a visit to the Italian Dolomites was planned this year.

Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (7)

As we commenced our trek along the path that circumnavigates the lake, we could see that a wooden house on stilts was attracting a lot of attention. Apparently, a popular Italian television series was filmed here called “Un Passo dal Cielo” (One Step from Heaven) with Italian movie legend Terence Hill.

Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (10)

Lago di Braies is the largest natural lake in the Dolomites. It covers an area of approximately 31 hectares, is 1.2kms long and about 350 metres wide. It is also one of the deepest lakes in the South Tyrol and has become a popular tourist destination.

We circumnavigated the lake in an anti-clockwise direction, enjoying the towering Dolomites overhead and the glimpse of a pretty church nestled among the trees.

Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (1)
Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (2)

The path was flat and easy with many families enjoying a day out. I believe that in winter the lake freezes over completely and it’s possible to walk on it.

Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (6)

About half way around the lake we took a detour to a wide grassy area called the Malga Forest. A sprinkling of cattle grazed and dozed in the meadows. Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (4)

Here we had lunch at a rifugo called Grunwald Hutte, where the fare was simple, local and hearty. I had speck and cheese, while the menfolk enjoyed sausages, polenta and sauerkraut. All washed down with the local beer. As you do.

Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (5)
Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (3)

Re-joining the main trail once more, we traversed the narrow trail on the eastern shore, which had several steps cut into the cliffs.

Lago di Braies Orna O Reilly (9)

Still, the walking was easy and no great level of fitness was required to enjoy this very satisfying hike while admiring the Pearl of the Dolomites in all its splendour.

by Orna O’Reilly

Orna is a former interior designer who practised in South Africa, Mozambique and Ireland. Now writing full time, she moved from Ireland to the Veneto area of Italy in 2013.

She writes her way around Italy by blogging about it (at Ornasite) and is currently writing a novel set in Venice. You can follow her tweets @OrnaOR, and her Travel & Design page on FB.

8 Responses to “High in the Dolomites: Lago di Braies”

  1. Wow, stunningly beautiful. Thanks for the stroll around Lago di Braies this morning

  2. peter masullo

    Love Venice. I have been there at least ten times. I stayed at different hotels during those times, but always on the Dosdoro side of the grand canal. I’ve traveled from the airport to the hotels several ways. When I can afford it, I take the water taxi to Pensione Accademia. Other times I’ve taken the bus and stayed at a holy hotel, run by the church. Either way I was never disappointed.

  3. Ginny Siggia

    Just drop me down anywhere in the region. I’ll emerge sometime in the next, oh, maybe fifty years.

  4. Marianna Raccuglia

    beautiful photos and interesting article. Thank you


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