Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee and Lake Prags, is one of the largest lakes in the Dolomites in northern Italy. It’s not only one of the largest lakes in the Dolomites, but also one of the most beautiful in the world.
It’s not difficult to get to Lago di Braies, and there are also several good options when it comes to accommodation in the nearby area. Down below you can read more about Lago di Braies and other useful information before your visit!
Location: In South Tyrol 1496 m above sea level
Surface: 31 hectares
Length: 1.2 km
Width: Around 400 m
Shoreline: 3.5 km
Maximum depth: 36 m
Median depth: 17 m
Cleanness of water: Good! But it’s cold.
Maximum surface water temperature: 14 degrees Celsius
About Lago di Braies
The famous Lago di Braies is a lake of crystal clear, green-blue water in the Braies Valley in the South Tyrolean Dolomites, with an insanely beautiful backdrop of Croda del Becco (Seekofel, 2,810 m). This picturesque lake is a part of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park, which means that it’s also a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the Dolomites, and is known as the ”Pearl of the Dolomite Lakes”. It’s not only one of the most beautiful, but it’s also one of the deepest lakes in the Dolomites with a depth of 36 meters. It’s located 1500 meters above sea level and offers great hikes for its visitors to enjoy.
It is just as beautiful to visit during winter, as summer. But it’s during summer you can do more activities and see the beautiful color of the water, which is why it is the most popular season to visit.
Why you should visit Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee
Lago di Braies is a place for anyone who loves to be out in nature, likes to go hiking, relax to the sound of the birds, or just simply are into photography. It’s no wonder why that it has been one of the most popular and desirable lakes in the world with its crystal clear green/turquoise waters and backdrop of lush nature and dramatic mountain.
It’s not only a place to go to get that perfect Instagram photo but also to get some relaxation, exercise and fun adventures. It is a place for the whole family, which makes Lago di Braies a “must-see” place on so many people’s bucket lists.
Rowing Boat Rental
One of the most popular things to do at Lago di Braies is to rent a rowing boat and row around the crystal clear waters. This is possible from June to the end of September, daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and it costs 15 euros for a half an hour and 25 euros for one hour.
Season: June to September
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Price: 1/2 hour €15.00, 1-hour € 25.00
A fun fact is that they used these kinds of rowing boats as transportation to get to the southern shores 100 years ago.
Hiking around the lake
The hiking trail around Lake Braies is suitable for both adults and little bit older children. It takes around 1.5-2 hours to go around the lake depending on how fast you walk.
I can recommend you to bring some snacks and drinks and have a picnic along the way. Just make sure to bring back the waste with you.
Yes, you can swim in the lake, but be prepared for cold water. There aren’t many people who go for a swim in an alpine lake, but those who do get an experience they’ll never forget!
I just walked in the water up to my ankles, and I couldn’t stay in the water more than 10 seconds, but this was during the month of May.
Lunch at Hotel Pragser Wildsee
If you don’t feel like hiking or rowing around in a boat on the lake, you can always head over to Hotel Pragser Wildsee and eat some lunch or just grab a cup of coffee. They have a really nice outdoor seating where you can enjoy the view over the lake, the lush nature, and the Seekofel mountain.
Chapel “Lago di Braies”
The little church that you can spot along the shore is called Chapel “Lago di Braies”, or Cappella “Lago di Braies” in Italian. It was built in 1904 and has been a part of the last events during World War II. 137 political prisoners were taken from concentration camps in Germany under the order of the SS commander in chief, who hoped to exchange the prisoners for his safety. The exchange took place on the shoreline outside Hotel Pragser Wildsee, and the liberated prisoners went to the chapel to pray.
How to get there
The nearest international airports in Italy are Venice, Verona, Treviso, and Bozen. It’s also quite close to travel from Innsbruck and Klagenfurt in Austria, as well as Munich in Germany. From all these cities you can rent a car at the airport and follow the GPS to the lake.
It’s also possible to go there by train. The nearest railway station is Niederdorf (Villabassa). From this station, between the 20th of June and 20th of September, there is a regular bus service to Pragser Wildsee. There are trains from both Austria, Germany and other cities in Italy to the Niederdorf station.
If you’re want to travel by bus you can check out these sites below for more information:
Where do I park my car?
There are 4 different parking spaces close to the lake. P1 is the closest one and there it costs around 5-6 euros per car between 7 am and 5 pm. If you arrive before 7 am you only need to pay 2 euros to park your car. After 5 pm the price is 4 euro. The parking is located just a couple of meters from the lake, which makes it easy for anyone to get to Lago di Braies.
If you want to avoid parking fees, you can always try to park in the town before Lago di Braies and then walk up to the lake.
Where to stay
Hotel Pragser Wildsee
This is one of the most popular hotels to stay in while visiting Lago di Braies with its unique location right next to the lake. It’s a family-run hotel with a history of 110 years, which is pretty cool. Here the rooms have balconies overlooking Lake Prags, it’s surrounding lush nature, and mountains. The rooms are decorated with antiques and offer free Wi-Fi.
The hotels feature a bar and a restaurant that serves local specialties at lunch.
Recent guests have said that the rooms were nice and clean, the staff was very friendly and that they especially loved the view from the room.
Majestic Hotel & Spa
Majestic Hotel & Spa is located about 30 minutes away from Lago di Braies and offers great value for your money. At this hotel, you have everything you need for a relaxing vacation. There are two heated pools, jacuzzi, steam room, and saunas. You get welcomed with a welcome drink and they offer delicious food. A great breakfast buffet is included in the price.
Not forget to mention their lovely staff who made our stay perfect!
If you’re looking for cheaper accommodation, you can find it via the link below. Just search for “Braies”.
The legend behind Lago di Braies
There is a mysterious legend behind this beautiful lake that comes from the Ladin people. They tell stories of a kingdom from the past, an empire of the Fanes, stories about both princes and princesses and their alliances with the people of the marmots. The gate to this underworld of the Fanes Empire was said to be located at the southern end of the lake. That’s why a part of the lake is called Torberg, ”Sass did Porta” in Ladin.
Protect the UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lago di Braies in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, so please take care of it and do not litter or destroy nature while hiking around it. Take your waste with you, and this also includes chewing gums and cigarette butts which are commonly thrown out in nature.
This is not only something you should think about when visiting Lago Di Braies but everywhere you go to help our world to become a better and healthier place for us all to live in.