6 great mountain lakes to visit in the Dolomites

The Unesco Dolomites are dotted with bodies of water which reflect the majesty of the mountains which surround them. Bubbling streams and rivers lead to cold lakes which adapt their colours according the their depth. Combining water, forests, towering mountain peaks and green meadows, these landscapes cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Each lake has it’s own particular colour as do the mountains which englobe them, especially at sunrise and sunset.

High mountain lake

The Lake of Legends

The Misurina Lake is one of the largest natural lakes of the area. It lies amidst some of the most important peaks of the Dolomites which reflect their majesty in her waters. Known for it’s beneficial and balsamic air, it has a reputation as being an “oasis of healthy air”. The microclimate which characterises the area around the lake is perfect for those who have respiratory problems. For this reason, in what used to be the summer residence of the Italian royalty, now lies the only centre in Italy for the care of childhood asthma. The lake and its surroundings offers a variety of excursions and activities in both summer and winter.

Misurina Lake

The most photographed lake

Surrounded by high and imposing Dolomite peaks which reflect in it’s green waters and acres of forests, this is truly paradise on earth! It is known as the Pearl of the Dolomites but it is more like an emerald in a setting of imposing summits. Or a mirror of still waters where the mountains can admire their beauty and the intense colours of the surroundings dazzle the visitors eye.

Braies Lake

The lake can be admired from all angles and along all it’s banks by a path which runs along the whole perimeter. It is also the starting point of many hikes which climb upon these peaks and look down at this natural treasure.

The Landro Lake

This is an idyllic lake located in the Landro Valley in the Three Peaks Nature Park at an altitude of 1400 m. In summer it is one of the warmest lakes and makes an ideal spot for the courageous swimmer. It is also the starting point for many hikes into the mountains which house many relics from WWI and the tragedy that ensued in this area. In winter it’s banks become a cross country skiing loop with a great view of the majestic Three Peaks.

Landro Lake

Lake of Dobbiaco

This lake houses one of the few remaining wetlands in South Tyrol. It is a special place for bird lovers and nature lovers who can admire the many kinds of water birds who choose the vegetation of this lake for breeding and resting. For this reason, a nature trail has been built around the lake with information on the vegetation, wildlife and geomorphology of the area. On hot summer days one can lie on the many beaches and cool down in the icy water after a soft or strenuous walk, or have a bite at one of the lakeside restaurants which serve local dishes or drinks. In winter the lake can be visited on foot or on a very popular cross country skiing track

Dobbiaco Lake

The Smugglers Lake

The Lago Nero or Schwarzsee, lies high in the mountains between Italy and Austria. Unlike the other lakes which can be reached by car, this lake can only be reached via a long and hard hike. This path used to be used by smugglers who would come over the mountains to barter their forbidden wares in these remote areas. This is a solitary mountain lake and one of the most important of the Casies valley. The area around the lake was once inhabited by the pastors during the summer months but now the cows are left free in fenced in areas and all thats left are the ruins of the humble huts of that simple but hard life.

Lago Nero

Antorno Lake

This lake lies on the only road that leads to the famous Three Peaks and in winter it is the last outpost reachable by car. It too is surrounded by the spectacular Dolomite summits and offers a beautiful view of the the three most important rocks of the Pale mountains. Numerous rare plant species grow around the lake. Having such easy access makes it an ideal spot for photographers who wish to capture the magical and ever changing colours of the most beautiful mountain range in the world.

Intorno Lake

Anna Moggia is Owner of Boutique Hotel Zenana.

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