Lago di Braies in Italian, and Pragser Wildsee in German
Made famous by the fiction “One Step From Heaven,” a TV fiction by RAI and also because of the numerous Instagram shots, Lake Braies now attracts millions of travelers from all over the world every year.
But do not make any effort whatsoever to speak Italian, there everybody speaks German and they are quite fluent in English. Probably more fluent in English than Italian! But yes, Lake Braies is in Italy!
Just Another Pearl on the Dolomites
Lake Braies, in South Tyrol, is an emerald nestled between the peaks of the Dolomites, waters with green-turquoise shades, wooden boats that seem almost suspended on the surface of the water and, all around, fir forests and majestic mountains.
Lake Braies is at 1,496 meters above sea level, within the Fanes Senes Braies Natural Park, it is indeed a unique place of its kind, with dazzling beauty. Enough to attract millions of visitors every year. About 15 thousand tourists a day (in summer) according to the latest estimates.
This year Lake Braies—in an effort to contain the inflow of tourist and because of COVID restrictions to avoid overcrowding—was accessible by reservations, or during the week after 4:00 pm.
It is also mandatory to wear a mask or protections for the mouth and nose.
Once you reach Lake Braies, it is difficult to remain immune to its charm. The waters fade from intense emerald to blue, depending on the glare of the sun. And then there are the Dolomites to complete the panorama.
It is difficult not to notice the wooden stilt house with the pier from which the row of rowing boats depart. Boats can be rented only in summer. It is possible to go around Lake Braies on foot, following the narrow dirt path that runs along the banks, offering always different and suggestive views of the water and the mountains.
Swimming is not permitted on the lake, regardless of the heat and inviting colored waters.
Going to Braies By Car
Getting to Lake Braies by car is quite simple, and very enjoyable. From Cortina it is about 50 minutes drive by following SS51, can’t go wrong. It is about 2 hrs and ½ from Venice Airport (taking Highway A27 and then again SS51).
Once you have arrived, you can leave your car in one of the different car parks in the Braies Valley. The closest, the car-only P3, next to the historic hotel, is quite large and is practically a stone’s throw from the lakeshore. You can book and pay for parking online by connecting to the braies.bz website (select the P icon, dedicated to car parking). The cost of the day ticket is 10€.
The alternative, is to travel on the shuttle buses that arrive from the municipalities of Monguelfo (line 439) and Dobbiaco (line 442) to Lake Braies. The bus ticket must be booked and paid in advance online (they sell out quickly), indicating in the appropriate form the number of people and animals to be transported, the stop, and the departure time. For the return, just show the one way ticket already paid.
For info and reservations, the braies.bz website is always valid.
Pedaling, enjoying nature, is one of the most enjoyable way to go to the lake. The Braies Valley is crossed by beautiful bike paths. And yes, nothing to worry, there are eBikes, so everyone can enjoy the ride, not just the “Lance Amstrongs” of the wheels.😉😊
Papin Sport at the Tuscherhof Hotel | + 39 0474 748628 | www.tuscherhof.it
Ski & Bike Rental Alfred | +39 335 6289344 | www.braisrent.com
Bike Store Troger Markus | +39 0474 740050 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Papin Sport at the train station in Monguelfo | +39 0474 913714
And if you arrive by bike, there are no access restrictions.
Finally, it is also possoble to get there by foot, and it is quite pleasant. Just following the beautiful paths between larch and fir trees. The shortest route (and roughly flat – the difference in height is about 270 meters), which starts from the Segheria car park. in Farra. Along the trail, just under 5 kilometers long, information panels lead the way.
When to go to Lake Braies
Lake Braies changes with the seasons, offering different emotions and scenarios each time, making it an attractive holiday destination at any time of the year.
In the Fall the Braies Valley is colored with foliage. The meadows turn golden, the larch trees blaze among the evergreen pines, the clear skies are of an incredible blue color. And Lake Braies shrouded in mist is truly magical. In Winter it becomes really magic.
In Winter, Lake Braies freezes. The shores are covered with snow, the peaks white, the temperatures below zero.