Pragser Wildsee is the largest natural lake of the Dolomites. Like many places here 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 in Italy.

Things to 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.

The Walking Path

The best way to avoid tourists is to start walking. You can walk around the lake for most parts. You can go either way. I personally liked the right side best, you’ll pas the busy restaurant and from there it gets better and better.

The lake has very clear mountain water, which slowly enters the lake from glaciers. You can see fish swimming in the lake. These are mountain trout, which have been in the lake for a long time. The lake has an average depth of 17 meters, but it is very shallow in many places.

Boats on Pragser Wildsee.
Boats on Pragser Wildsee. Samuel Thomson

The boat trip on Pragser Wildsee

You can sail with a boat on the lake. It is a special boat trip, but it is also an expensive one. The captain takes you over the lake and along the way explains everything about the area. You’ll hear about the majestic mountains, their names and more. It is usually in German or Italian. English is also available.

Both summer and winter, there are many other activities, such as hiking, fishing, canoeing and skiing. Ask around what possibilities there are.

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 wonderfully beautiful. But it can get very busy here. As a result, much of the beauty is lost. You can avoid this by arriving early in the morning and avoiding the weekends. Also the school holidays and (logically) the high season is not optimal.

How do I get there?

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 be here early in the morning (before 9) or in late afternoon (after 3). Those are also the best times for photos.