winter trip to lago di braies
Italy | Winter trips

Why you should book a winter trip to Lago Di Braies

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Are you planning a winter trip? Do not forget to visit the unique Lago di Braies. It is an ideal place to visit for couples, solo female travelers, and families. Without a doubt, it is a natural wonder that should be on your bucket list.

The lake is located in northern Italy and Südtirol.  What’s more, it’s one of the most photogenic places in the Dolomites, visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are going to Lago di Braies by public transportation or renting a car. Below, I have prepared some essential tips that will make it much easier to reach your destination and speed up the planning of your trip.

Lago di Braies how to get there 

It is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist sites in the Dolomites and one of the most beautiful lakes in northern Italy.

To get to the lake of Braies, it’s simple: there is only one road. 

From Val Pusteria, just take the junction for Val di Braies, located between the villages of Monguelfo and Villabassa.

Continuing for a few kilometers, you will reach a crossroads, from which you will take the road (indicated by appropriate signs) towards the lake.

Along the way, you’ll pass through the towns of Ferrara (Schmieden) and San Vito (St. Veit) before arriving at the lake’s parking lot, where there’s also a large hotel restaurant called Hotels Pragser Wildsee.

Braies’ parking lots near the lake are not free.

Parking lots and lakes are at the end of this road, so you can’t go wrong. If you don’t have your own transport, a bus will take you to the Pragser Wildsee. Ask at the tourist office in Bolzano or Brunico.

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Dolomites In The Winter

Lago di Braies by public transport 

In the case of the Dolomites, a highly well-established public transportation infrastructure serves as an alternative to driving a car. Thanks to a system of buses, regional railways, and cable cars, the area is quite well connected. This holds true for ties to Lago di Braies as well.

To have access to all other transportation alternatives in the area, you might think about getting a South Tyrol Mobilcard (15, 23, or 28 euros for 1, 3, and 7 days). Hotels, tourist information offices, and ticket kiosks all sell tickets.

From the major towns (and even hotels) in the Pusteria Valley, tourists can take buses to Lago di Braies.

Take bus #442 from Dobbiaco/Toblach, which stops at Villabassa and costs 5 euros per person per journey or is free with a South Tyrol Mobilcard. The trip takes around 30 minutes. Take the #446 bus to Dobbiaco/Toblach if you are traveling from a little-more-distant town like San Candido/Innichen or Sesto/Sexten.

Take bus #439 from western communities like Monguelfo/Welsberg-Taisten (5 euros per person per trip or included in the price of South Tyrol Mobilcard).

During the busiest summer months, buses run every half-hour, from 6.30 am until 5.30 pm (from 10th of July to 10th of September, 2020).

Lago di Braies: winter wonderland

Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee is like a real-life fairy tale in the winter as the surrounding landscape is completely covered with snow. In the winter, enjoy a leisurely hike or romantic stroll around Pragser Wildsee while breathing in the wholesome mountain air. You’ll see that as your eyes stray across the sizable Lago di Braies, daily life will soon be forgotten. 

Winter hiking in Dolomites strengthens the body and relaxes the mind. Beautiful hiking routes that are excellent for leisurely walks or quick excursions will greet you during your stay at Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee in the winter. They are kept clear of new snow and made passable all winter long, even in the deepest winter.

Lago di Braies becomes a sizable skating rink in the winter and provides ice skaters with arguably the best natural backdrop imaginable. For both novice and expert skaters, there are countless opportunities to improve their technique or experience difficult slopes.

Tobogganing is a lot of fun for the whole family, which is presumably why it’s one of the most well-liked wintertime activities at Lago di Braies.  A memorable activity, tobogganing is made much better when there are so many picturesque paths to choose from, as there are in Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal.

Be advised that Lago di Braies will be frozen and covered with snow if you visit the Dolomites during the winter. Its intense blue cannot be captured on camera. Visit this lake in the spring or summer to enjoy its vibrant colors.

Lago Di Braies Chapel
Lago Di Braies Chapel

Here are five great reasons to start planning your winter vacation in Dolomites

  • Experience the winter wonderland without the crowds
  • See the lake covered by snow.  You won’t see the famous boats moored in winter. If you want to go on a boat cruise on Lago di Braies, the best seasons are spring and summer
  • Admire the stunning landscapes of the Dolomites
  • Need a shot of adrenaline? The Dolomites are an ideal place for winter sports like snowboarding, skiing, snowkiting, carving
  • You can enjoy hiking and rock climbing all year round

Where to park at Lago di Braies?

There are two parking lots at Lago di Braies.

The P1 parking is pay-and-display and costs 20 euros for 24 hours (rate 2021).

At this price, you have secure parking. There is a service area for vans and mobile homes. The parking lot has toilets and drinking water.

The P2 parking lot is not free during the day. It is free after 6 p.m.

This is the one I used for our evening visit to Braies Lake. 

You can book a parking ticket at Lago di Braies online.

Lago Di Braies
Lago Di Braies

Hotels Lago di Braies

Looking for a hotel near Lago di Braies? There is the huge hotel Lago di Braies, which is located at the entrance of the lake. You can book a night in this one, but it is a small luxury for which you must have the means.

The hotel is the owner of the whole area and acts as the guardian of the lake. They have imposed a few rules regarding access to the dock. It has also been established that flying drones at Lago di Braies is prohibited.

The establishment opened in 1899 and is almost 125 years old. It has seen many famous people from the nobility pass through. It also served as a refuge in 1945 for 139 prisoners who had just been released from Dachau at the end of World War II.

For more information on where to stay in the Dolomites, see my separate blog post.

Lago Di Braies hotel
Lago Di Braies hotel

Lago di Braies weather

The Dolomites have a continental climate. It is therefore hot in summer and cold in winter. During the day in December, the average temperature is 5 degrees, while it drops to -3 in the evening. According to the predictions, 7 days are rainy, 11 are cloudy, and 12 are sunny. A climate that can change at any time in the mountains! 

For the Dolomites, Accuweather offers comprehensive weather data.

It is also important to know that in November, only 6 or 7 hours are sunny during the day, certainly shortening the duration of the visitors’ visit. During my stay, I had an overcast morning and a beautiful blue and clear sky the rest of the time. 

Frozen Lago Di Braies
Frozen Lago Di Braies

Conclusion

One of the most stunning lakes in the Dolomites is Lago di Braies, which is worth visiting.  This lake is definitely worth visiting during winter if you’re a photographer or traveling with your family even as a solo female traveler. From the amazing lake you can move straight to skiing in the Dolomites.

There are many famous ski resorts worthy of your attention! I recommend the Dolomites to beginners as well as experienced skiers. If you’re just planning your trip to the Dolomites, be sure to read my guide to why you should visit this place.


Did you know….
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The winter guide to the Lago Di Braies Dolomites

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