Lake Braies, Bolzano in South Tyrol, Italy (with Map & Photos)

Lake Braies (Lago di Braies) is located about 100 km from the city of Bolzano in South Tyrol (Italy) at an altitude of 1496 meters. It offers stunning views of the Dolomites, and there are also picturesque forests nearby. The reservoir is located at the foot of Mount Croda del Becco. It is beautiful here both in summer and in winter, when the shores of the lake are covered with snow, and in the morning the clouds descend literally to the very water.

Lake Braies Italy
Lake Braies Italy

  • The area of ​​the lake is 0.31 km². Volume - 5.3 km³.
  • Length - 1.2 km. Width - 300 - 400 m.
  • The maximum depth is 38 meters (the deepest lake in South Tyrol). The average depth is 17 meters.

This is the cleanest and most beautiful alpine lake in the province of Alto Adige, which has been attracting tens of thousands of travelers for decades. It is popular among fans of hiking, ordinary tourists and photographers (both amateurs and professionals).

Lake Braies Italy
Lake Braies Italy

On the shores of Lake Braies, picnics are arranged (in places specially equipped for this), people go boating along the lake itself, enjoying the scenery. By the way, the cost of renting a boat is on average 12 euros for 30 minutes or 24 euros for an hour. Prices change from year to year.

The best time to visit the lake is summer. At this time, it is most comfortable to walk here. But few swim in the water. Even in summer, the water temperature rarely rises above +15 °C. However, this does not mean at all that the pebble beaches here are deserted. On the contrary, in the summer it is almost impossible to find a free place. You need to come early and take sunbeds.

There are hiking trails around the lake. They lead around the lake - be sure to put on comfortable clothes and hiking shoes, "arm yourself" with a camera. Those who are going to go around the lake in a circle (it will take about two hours) should know that the western shore is flat, wide, and convenient for walking. It is in the western part that there are equipped picnic areas. But the eastern coast is completely different - there are many steep and narrow zones where you should walk with extreme caution.

Lake Braies Italy
Lake Braies Italy

Lake Braies is part of the Fanes - Sannes e Braies National Park.

There are two car parks next to the lake. One is free, but there are usually no places on it during the summer months. Another, at the hotel - paid (6 euros / day).

On the western shore of Lake Braies is a small chapel of the Holy Madonna, built in the early 20th century (1904). It is known that the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, visited her shortly before his assassination in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.

As for accommodation, there is only one hotel on the lake - Hotel del Lago di Braies. This is a fairly expensive hotel with good reviews. It is also a historical monument and one of the main attractions of the lake. The hotel was opened on July 10, 1899. In the past, it was very popular among the Austrian aristocracy. Since the summer of 2006, the hotel has been operating the Lake Braies Historical Archive, which contains valuable information about the history of the hotel and its famous guests.

Those who cannot afford this luxurious hotel usually settle in simpler hotels in small towns near the lake.

Lake Braies Italy
Lake Braies Italy

Weather at Lake Braies

The best time to visit Lake Braies is summer, in July or August. It is cool here in autumn, winter and spring (the plus is that there are almost no tourists either). Even in summer it is cool, the temperature can drop below +20 °C. On average, in July and August, the thermometers show +19...+20 °C. Sometimes it is warmer, up to +23...+25 °C. In summer days, the temperature at night sometimes drops to +7...+10 °C, but on average it stays at +12...+13 °C.

Frosty days are typical for the winter months and March. But it is rarely very cold, usually around -3...-4 °C. In cold years, there are days when the temperature drops below -10 °C. But during these months you can see snow-covered landscapes (they are no less picturesque than summer ones).

Rains happen often, and they can go not only in autumn or spring, but also in summer. However, prolonged rains are rare, they usually end quickly.

The water temperature does not rise above +15...+16 °C. Therefore, only the most desperate or the most hardened bathe here.

Lake Braies Italy
Lake Braies Italy

How to get to Lake Braies

The easiest way to get to Lake Braies is by car. In general, traveling around Northern Italy is very problematic. Buses and trains do not go everywhere. If you are coming from Innsbruck in Austria, then you should follow the A22 highway, then go to the Bressanone-Val Pusteria exit and follow the SS49 road towards Brunico and then follow the signs to the lake itself, Braies. There is only one entrance directly to the lake. The road here is very good and incredibly picturesque.

However, if you really want to, you can try to get there by public transport - first by train to the Villabassa train station, and then transfer to bus number 442, which will take you to the lake. The bus schedule can be found on this website. They usually run every 30 minutes. Travel time is about 20 minutes.

The lake can also be reached by car from the airports of Bolzano, Verona and Venice.

Lake Braies Map