Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies

The Most Beautiful Lake in the Dolomites

Pragser Wildsee is also often called Lago di Braies. This is the largest natural lake in the Dolomites. Like many places in this region, it’s known by two names as they speak two languages in this area: Lago di Braies in Italian, and Pragser Wildsee in German. Both names are used regularly for this amazing lake in the mountain district of Italy. This article describes the sights of the Pragser Wildsee and also focuses on the best excursions.

This turquoise lake surrounded by steep mountains is located in the nature reserve of Fanes-Sannes-Braies, and has a breathtaking alpine backdrop. The area is perfect for hiking and boating. Discover the best things to do and see at the Pragser Wildsee.

The Wooden House

When you arrive you will notice a wooden boathouse on the left. This is the wooden mountain hut that you see a lot on social media like Instagram and Facebook. If you want to take the famous picture with the boats on the lake you have to be lucky. Or just sit at the shore and wait. The lake is still used for the boats for a cruise. So you can take a boat ride as well.

A view of the Pragser Wildsee.

The Walking Path

The best way to avoid tourists is to walk the whole trail. You can not walk around the entire lake because of the glacier. You can go either way, left or right. I personally liked the right side best, you’ll pass a busy restaurant and from there it gets better and better with the view and fewer tourists.

The lake has very clear mountain water, which slowly enters the lake from the glaciers. Fish can be clearly seen swimming in these waters. These are mountain trout, that occur here naturally. The lake has an average depth of 17 meters, but is very shallow in many places.

Rent a Boat on the Pragser Wildsee

A boat on the Pragser Wildsee.

You can hire a wooden rowing boat and see the lake from a different perspective. It’s expensive, but worth it if you really enjoy the wilderness. You can paddle on the lake and see the majestic mountains. You can ask their names and more at the renting office.

There are many other activities to be enjoyed in both summer and winter. These include hiking, fishing, canoeing and skiing. Ask around for other activities.

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Accommodation at Pragser Wildsee

I can recommend spending the night in the area. This allows you to visit the lake early in the morning, so you are ahead of most tourists. You can also take a walk at the end of the day, often with beautiful light. There are several hotels, hostels and Bed & Breakfasts in the area. The nearest village is Villabassa. Be sure to book in time, as it fills up quickly. This applies both during the summer and during the holiday periods.

Avoid The Many Tourists

The pictures of the boathouse with the lake and mountains behind it have been all over the internet for years. The Pragser Wildsee is therefore very popular. And rightly so, because this lake is gleamingly beautiful.

It can get very busy here. As a result, much of the atmosphere is lost. You can avoid this by arriving early in the morning and avoiding the weekends. Also visiting during the school holidays and high season is not recommended.

There are all kinds of activities in both summer and winter, such as hiking, fishing, canoeing and skiing. The lake has an average depth of 17 meters, but in many places it is very shallow.

You can also take a tour around the lake. So that you soon find yourself walking alone with a landscape that is constantly changing. With very clear mountain water, which slowly flows into the lake. This allows you to see the fish swimming in the lake. These are mountain trout, which have been in the lake for a long time.

Visiting Pragser Wildsee

You can get to Pragser Wildsee/Lago di Braies by car. If you’re travelling from the cities of Silian or Toblach/Dobbiaco, you’ll see a sign for Pragser Tal/Val di Braies just near Niederdorf. If you come from the direction of Bruneck, you will find the road leading there just past Welsberg/Montguelfo. On this road you’ll get to an intersection after about 2,5 kilometres, take the turn-off on your right leading to Innerprags/Braies al Lago. 

It’ll be another 6,5 kilometres until you get to the lake. Parking can be an issue. Especially on busy days. Then it is better to take the special Pragser Wildsee buses. But they can also be full. It is best to arrive early in the morning (before 9) or in late afternoon (after 3). Those are also the best times for photos.

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