The Italian Dolomites are praised for their rugged peaks, clear blue skies, and stunning scenery. But did you know that they’re also home to some of the most gorgeous mountain lakes in Europe? From crystal-clear waters surrounded by craggy cliffs to serene pools nestled in tranquil valleys, these seven scenic lakes will leave you breathless. So pack your hiking boots and camera – it’s time to explore the 7 most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites!
What are the best lakes in the Dolomites to visit in 2024?
Imagine being surrounded by some of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes on Earth, where each turn unveils a new vista more stunning than the last. Now, add over 30 sparkling lakes to this scene, each nestled like a jewel among the rugged peaks of the Dolomites. Yes, you heard right – over 30 mesmerizing lakes adorn this UNESCO World Heritage site, offering a serene escape into nature’s masterpiece.
Let’s dive into a journey that will reveal the Dolomites’ most splendid watery wonders, handpicked just for you!
Lago di Braies in Pragser Wildsee
If you want to experience some of the picture-perfect scenery that the Dolomites have to offer, you need to head to Lago di Braies. This lake is located in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park in Pragser Wildsee, and it is truly a sight to behold. The walk around the lake takes about 1 hour to walk around and it is fairly easy.
The water is deep blue, and the surrounding mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Pragser Wildsee, including hiking trails, biking, and renting a rowing boat.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and take in the beauty of the Dolomites, then Lago di Braies is the perfect spot for you.
To keep in mind: Summer’s warmth brings popularity, so arrive early to secure parking or consider the shuttle service, a convenient alternative when the lot is full. Guests of the Hotel Lago di Braies have the privilege of exclusive access, bypassing the shuttle necessity and savoring the lake’s tranquility from dawn to dusk. You can find the shuttle schedule HERE.
HOTEL RECOMMENDATION: Hotel Lago di Braies
Imagine waking up to the soft, tranquil sounds of nature, pulling back the curtains, and being greeted by the breathtaking view of Lago di Braies’ emerald waters, right at your doorstep. Yes, Hotel Lago di Braies, is my absolute favorite dreamy spot of all the lake Hotels in the Dolomites (plus the food is really good!).
Lago di Carezza in Karersee
The turquoise waters of Lago di Carezza in Karersee are truly a sight to behold. This idyllic alpine lake is surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Dolomites, making it a popular spot for both hikers and photographers.
While the lake itself is relatively small, it’s stunning setting more than makes up for it. On a clear day, you can even see the peak of Mt. Patscherkofel reflected in the water.
There are a few different ways to reach Lago di Carezza, but the most popular is via the Alpe di Siusi cable car. From there, it’s just a short walk to the lake shore. There is also a parking lot nearby the lake, but you must arrive at dawn to get a spot.
It’s good to mention that the lake itself is fenced off. This means you cannot get as close to the water as to other lakes. You can walk around the lake and enjoy its stunning scenery. The walk itself is more or less on flat terrain. This makes this lake the most suitable for this who prefer a gentle scenic walk, with zero to no challenges.
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to add Lago di Carezza to your list of must-see places in the Italian Dolomites!
Lago di Sorapis in Sorapissee
Lago di Sorapis nestles in the picturesque town Cortina d Ampezzo, located in the Sorapisssee. The glacial lake is the place to be in the Dolomites for hikers and nature lovers. Its emerald-blue water and beautiful mountain scenery are breathtaking. Could it be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world? I haven’t seen them all, but I bet it’s up there!
Several easier trails lead to this hidden gem, making it accessible for all levels of hikers. I must say though, that the pathway is quite narrow and steep. So you will need a moderate fitness level to get there. I brought my dog to the hike and he loved it.
Lago di Misurina
Lake Misurina is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Italian Dolomites. The lake is located in a mountain basin at an altitude of 1,755 meters (5,758 feet), making it the highest lake in Italy. It is also the largest lake in the Dolomites, with a surface area of 1.67 square kilometers (0.65 square miles).
The water of the lake is crystal clear, due to its high altitude and the surrounding limestone rocks. The landscape around the lake is simply stunning, with high mountains all around and dense forests.
Lake Dobbiaco in Toblacher See
There are few lakes in the world as picturesque and serene as Lake Dobbiaco in Toblacher See. Situated in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, this alpine lake is surrounded by lush forests and towering peaks.
Whether you are looking for a peaceful place to relax or an adventurous base for exploring the Dolomites, Lake Dobbiaco is sure to exceed your expectations.
Lago delle Baste
The serene and beautiful Lake Baste is located in the province of Trentino in the Trentino–Alto Adige region (South Tyrol). It’s a small lake, only 3 hectares, but it’s stunning. Nestled in San Vito di Cadore, Lake delle Baste can only be reached by hiking trail 436 from Passo Giau. This trail is part of the world-famous Alta Via 1 and takes approximately 3 hours to complete.
This lake is the least popular of all the lakes in this blog post.
Lago di Landro in Dürrensee
Lake Landro is situated at an elevation of 1,856 m (6,092 ft) in the Tre Cime National Park. Alongside the lake, you’ll have a mesmerizing view of the Cristallo Group and the Ampezzo. The clear blue waters of the lake make for perfect swimming conditions in the summer. In case you get hungry, you can grab a bite at the local restaurant while you take this beauty in.
Visit the lakes in the Dolomites
Italy’s Dolomites region is full of spectacular natural beauty, and its collection of lakes is no exception. With breathtaking mountain backdrops and some of the clearest waters in all of Europe, these five most beautiful lakes offer something special for both sightseers and adrenaline seekers alike.
Whether you plan to take a stroll around them or jump straight into an adventure activity like canyoning or ice climbing – each lake has unique water sports activities that will make your trip unforgettable.
FAQ’s about the Lakes in the Dolomites
My absolute favorite place in the Dolomites has to be Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm). There’s something about the vast expanse of Europe’s largest high-altitude Alpine meadow that captivates me every time I visit. The panoramic views of the surrounding Dolomites, including the majestic Sassolungo group and the iconic Sciliar massif, are simply unparalleled.
Visiting lakes in the Dolomites provides a unique opportunity to experience some of Europe’s most pristine natural beauty. These lakes offer mesmerizing views, tranquil surroundings, and the chance to engage in activities like hiking, photography, and water sports amidst spectacular mountain scenery.
The best time to visit the lakes in the Dolomites is from late spring to early autumn (May to September) when the weather is most favorable for outdoor activities. July and August offer warm temperatures and blooming flora, while September provides the added beauty of autumnal colors with fewer crowds.
Yes, there are numerous activities to enjoy at the lakes in the Dolomites, including hiking, boating, swimming (in designated areas), photography, and picnicking. The surrounding trails offer varying levels of difficulty, catering to both casual walkers and serious hikers looking to explore the majestic landscapes.