When you think of the Dolomites a few things come to mind: jagged mountain peaks, green meadows and above all beautiful crystal clear lakes!
The Dolomites are one of my favourite places to explore in Europe and so far I’ve had the pleasure of visiting them 4 times! They’re a mountain range in Northern Italy and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 2009.
While writing my travel guides I always speak from personal experiences! The last time I visited South Tyrol was in October and I dedicated a couple of days to see the most beautiful lakes the Dolomites have to offer! I had planned to see more but unfortunately the weather forecast decided otherwise and a lot of lakes became frozen or snowed under.
Nevertheless I decided to include them in this list due to all of the research I had already done when I was planning on visiting them!
I hope you’ll like this guide and if you need any additional information you can simply click through on the separate blog post for each lake which includes a ton more information and photos to plan your perfect visit!
The 10 Most Beautiful Lakes In The Dolomites
This year I wanted to focus on exploring more unique places and since it was already my 4th time visiting the Dolomites I made it my mission to visit and hike to some of the more unknown lakes in the Dolomites as well!
A lot of these lakes in the Dolomites are accessible by car but for some of them you have to put in a little more effort!
But due to the growing popularity of this region a lot of the lakes are getting overcrowded, especially Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee and Lago di Sorapiss. It’s best to visit the most popular Dolomites lakes during off-season.
But before I dive in, here are some other guides that might help you plan the perfect trip to the Dolomites
- Dolomites Hiking Guide
- Most Beautiful Places in the Dolomites
- 5 Day Dolomites Itinerary
- Best Dolomites Day Hikes for First Time Visitors
Planning your trip to the Dolomites
1. Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee/Lake Braies
Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee and Lake Braies, is the most popular lake in the Italian Alps by a milestone.
It’s part of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park and is nestled in a beautiful side valley next to Val Pusteria. It’s located in South Tyrol at an altitude of 1469m above sea level and has a depth of no less than 36m!
During my road trips I saw a lot of beautiful lakes, but none of them ever come close to the splendour of Lago di Braies! It’s one of the few places that looks even better in real life than on any photograph. It’s safe to say that this is one of THE best places to visit in the Dolomites
Want more details and photos? View the full blog post – LAGO DI BRAIES PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
2. Lago di Dobbiaco/ Toblacher See
Lago di Dobbiaco, also known as Toblacher See, is an Alpine lake located right at the entrance of the Tre Cime National Park in the municipality of Dobbiaco. It’s ideally located between the famous Three Peaks and the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park and makes for the perfect stop over after visiting Lago di Braies.
The lake originated from several rockfalls in antiquity and in 1939 Mussolini made sure 5 bunkers were built here as part of the Alpine Wall to protect Italy during WWII.
There’s plenty of Summer activities around lago di Dobbiaco and also a beautiful 4.5km nature trail that takes you all around the lake and through parts of the forest.
3. Lago di Landro/ Dürrensee/ Lake Landro
Lago di Landro, mostly known as Dürrensee, is an alpine lake in the Tre Cime National Park. Alongside the lake you’ll have a magnificent view on the Cristallo Group and the Ampezzo Dolomites.
Besides Lake Braies and Lake Dobbiaco, Lake Landro is among the three largest natural lakes in the upper Val Pusteria. There are a lot of fun spots to relax such as the pebble beach on the north bank of the lake. It’s the ideal place for some sunbathing during the Summer months cause even that Lago di Landro is a mountain lake its water is rather warm.
There’s also a small restaurant right across from the parking lot where you can literally have lunch with a view!
4. Lago d’Antorno/ Lake Antorno
Lago d’Antorno, also known as lake Antorno is located alongside the road to rifugio Auronzo in the Tre Cime National Park.
It’s surrounded by larches and in te background you can see the Tre Cime and Cadini di Misurina. Lago d’Antorno is the starting point for some of the most beautiful hikes in the Dolomites. It’s where you’ll park your car and start hiking up towards rifugio Auronzo if you don’t want to pay for the toll road leading up to the Tre Cime hiking trail.
5. Lago di Misurina/ Lake Misurina
Lago di Misurina is the largest natural lake of the entire Cadore, a historical region in the province of Veneto. It’s often referred to as the ‘pearl of the Dolomites‘ and its crystal clear water reflects the mountain ranges surrounding it such as: Tre Cime, Cadini, Sorapiss and Cristallo.
Besides being absolutely stunning Misurina is also known for something else. It’s said that the air here is of such high quality due to a special microclimate that it can help with respiratory problems.
6. Lago Federa/Lake Federa
Lago Federa, als known as lake Federa, is a stunning high altitude mountain lake that lies in the municipality of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The only way to reach this beautiful lake in the Dolomites is by hiking!
Lago Federa is part of the Croda da Lago hiking trail and one of my favourite hikes to do in the Dolomites. Not to mention that this lake is at its finest during Autumn when all of the larches surrounding it turn in different shades of yellow and orange.
In the East you can see the Becco di Mezzodi rising up in the background and if you’re lucky you can see its shape perfectly reflected in the crystal clear water.
Do you want to see this lake for yourself? Read everything you need to know in my detailed guide – LAGO FEDERA HIKING GUIDE.
7. Lago di Sorapiss/ Lake Sorapiss
Lago di Sorapiss, also known as lake Sorapiss, is another one of those lakes that you can only reach by hiking. Every single time I was in the Dolomites I had this hike shining bright on my itinerary. But I really think it’s not meant to be haha cause the odds truly were never in my favour.
First time we just were completely unprepared and our intention wasn’t to go hiking. So the only pair of shoes I brought were All Stars and they weren’t gonna cut it. The second time I realised this hike wasn’t suitable for people with a fear of heights, which my dad suffers from. And the third and final time it was snowing in the middle of October and the hiking trail wasn’t accessible. :p
The hiking trail to Lago di Sorapiss is a 13,5km round trip with an elevation gain of 725m and the best time to visit is in early July!
8. Lago di Carezza/ Karersee/ Lake Carezza
Lago di Carezza, also known as Karersee, is a small alpine lake in the Dolomites. It’s especially famous for its calm and dark green coloured waters and the beautiful mountain panorama in the background.
There’s a big parking lot across the road and you’ll be able to access the area around the lake through a tunnel. The entire lake is clearly fenced off but unfortunately there are still people who find it necessary to jump this fence to take photos or to have a picknick and leave their trash.
Lago di Carezza get its emerald green colour thanks to a fragile eco system. One that easily could end up being destroyed by coming to close near the lake.
9. Lago delle Baste, one of the more unknown lakes in the Dolomites
Lago delle Baste is nestled between several mountain ranges and a high altitude mountain lake in San Vito di Cadore. The only way to reach this lake is by following hiking trail 436 from Passo Giau. This trail is part of the world famous Alta Via 1 and takes around 3 hours to complete there and back.
10. Lago di Limides/Lake Limides
Lago di Limides is another hidden gem in the Dolomites. Its a rather unknown lake and part of the Passo di Falzerego. It’s a pretty easy to reach lake so if you feel like walking for another small hour (there and back) simply drive to Rifugio Col Gallina and park your car here. Take the trail that leads through the forest and after 25 minutes you’ll reach Lago Limides!
PIN IT FOR LATER
Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.