The mighty Dolomites are easily one of the world’s most spectacular vacation destinations – especially for someone who loves mountains 😀 You’ll get to see breathtaking views everywhere you might turn your head, with soaring peaks, incredible lakes, green valleys dotted with charming alpine homes, and so many awesome hiking trails just waiting for you.
It’s one of those places where you might want to stay forever and even though we had to go back home eventually, we’re already thinking about coming back in the Dolomites as soon as possible. We’ve been there for nearly a week, but I think I can write an entire book about my experience here 😀 I’ll try to limit myself to only two or three articles and today I wanna show the most beautiful lakes from these majestic mountains.
There are probably hundreds of lakes in the Dolomites, some very popular, some untouched, smaller or larger, greenish or azure blue, some more accessible, others very hard to get to. We’ve only managed to see a couple of them, including these three beauties, that are also probably the most popular lakes among tourists too, for good reason. They all have their own charm and even though it’s pretty hard to pick an order, I’ll do my best to rank them.
1. Lago di Sorapis
Most people probably won’t call Lago di Sorapis the most beautiful lake in the Dolomites, but to me it easily was the most amazing. Maybe because it was a lot harder to get to this lake, or maybe because it had a sheer blue color, but trust me, this lake looks like it’s out of this world.
Hidden in a small valley below the Sorapiss peak, this stunning lake will take your breath away in more ways than one. Its wonderful turquoise-blue color looks surreal and the majestic mountains around it seem to surround it with pride, protecting its beauty, while the small forest and a few rocky formations beautifully reflect in the crystal clear water of the lake. All these turn Lago di Sorapis into a real-life painting that’s almost too good to be true.
It’s not easy to get there, but trust me, it’s all worth it in the end. We’ve reached the starting point of the hiking trail by car, but you could also go there by bus, just look for Misurina or Passo Tre Croci. From there on, you’ll have to take your backpack, make sure you have a lot of water with you, and get ready for a lovely walk through nature.
The hike to Lago di Sorapis is simply.. amazing! The first few kilometers are just an easy walk through the forest, but as you’re starting to climb it’s getting harder and harder. There are some sectors where you basically have to walk on a narrow path on the side of the mountain with a huge ravine on the other side. If you’re afraid of heights it might be quite difficult to get over this, but don’t worry, there’s also an iron rope on the side of the mountain that will help you get over it.
From here on the climb gets even harder and turns into a real “Via Ferrata” for a while, with iron rugs, ladders, carved steps, ropes and small bridges. It might seem hard to get through, but with all those climbing aids I’m sure anyone can do it easily. We’ve climbed for 2 or 3 hours to get to the lake, and you’ll spend just as much time going down, but all those beautiful views will make you forget you’re even tired. And when you get to the lake.. you realize you’ve made the right decision to come here!
We arrived there right in the middle of the day and unfortunately this wasn’t a good time for photos. There were no clouds on the sky and the direct sunlight on the lake was waay too strong. Even the color of the water looked a little bit strange, but we knew we had to wait a little bit until the sun got behind the mountain and then the lake revealed its sheer beauty. I think I’ve said “wow” too many times there and I’m pretty sure you will do that too. Everything seemed unreal and I loved every moment spent there 😀
My advice, if you’re also planning to go to Lago di Sorapis in the near future, is to go there in the morning or closer to the sunset.
2. Lago di Braies
Lago di Braies is easily the most touristy lake in the Dolomites, a lake that everyone considers one of the most beautiful in the world, for good reason. I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen at least a photo with this wonderful place. We’ve all been charmed by those little boats, its crystal clear water and the lake’s mesmerizing mountain backdrop, but it seems even more amazing when you get to see it with your own eyes.
It’s fairly easy to get to Lago di Braies. If you go there by car, there are a few large parking lots right next to the lake, but there are also a few buses that could take you right to the lake. Since we knew it can get very crowded here, we woke up at 5 am and got up very early because we wanted to catch the sunrise here (and fewer people of course 🙂 )
Our hotel was nearly an hour away but we managed to arrive there at around 6am and there were already more than 20 photographers patiently waiting for the sunrise too. Here’s something very important, something that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere and I wish I would have known earlier: you can’t get to those lovely boats and that pontoon until 10 am (or 9 am during the summer), because the cabin that leads to the pontoon is closed.
To get to the pontoon earlier you only had two choices: go through the water, and it was -3 degrees out there, so the water was almost freezing, or you had to climb on the edge of the cabin and hope you won’t fall in the lake. We chose the second option and it was very difficult for us, because we’re not too tall and we couldn’t reach the top part of the cabin too well. But we didn’t give up and we managed to get to the pontoon like that, and a few more people followed us 😀
That’s how we managed to capture the lake in all its glory, with those beautiful boats waiting peacefully for the sunrise and the wonderful mountain peaks the background.. it was absolutely gorgeous and even though I was shivering most of the time (I was wearing a red veil skirt), I didn’t want leave that place.
If Lago di Sorapis is unique through its remote location and that sheer blue color, Lago Di Braies is the most romantic lake I’ve ever seen. We felt sorry we couldn’t rent a boat then, but we had to wait three more hours until the whole place opened up and it was waay too cold. We promised ourselves we’ll back here one day, hopefully when it’s a lot warmer.
We’ve stayed here for around 2 hours, we walked around the lake and admired its beauty and calmness from every single angle. It felt so nice to see a beautiful lake like this one that’s so well preserved and promoted. I’m sure there are many places in my country too that also deserve a lot of attention, but they’re not as well protected or promoted.
3. Lago di Carezza
Last but not least, the emerald lake, as I’ve called it – Lago di Carezza. As soon as we got there the whole lake was shining beautifully, with the forest and the mountains behind it reflecting in its crystal clear water, and the shape of the lake and its extraordinary green color made my close my eyes and imagine it as a big, emerald stone 😀
We didn’t manage to get up so early and I think we only got there at around 12 pm, when it was already very, very crowded. You’ll also find a big parking spot right next to the lake here, so it’s relatively easy to get to Lago di Carezza, but it’s pretty hard to take a few good photos with the lake, because it’s surrounded by a big fence all around. The best shots with this emerald green beauty were from a few rocks at the edge of the lake, so.. we had to break the rules a little bit, but it was all worth it 😀
All three lakes have something special and unique about themselves, something that turns any visit here into an unforgettable experience. I’m sure you will fall in love with them immediately and you’ll probably want to come back here again and again.
If you haven’t been in this lovely part of the world yet, I’ll leave these pictures to do the rest of the talking for me and I hope I’ve managed to convince you to visit the Dolomites mountains as soon as possible.