Beautiful Lago di Braies! This emerald blue lake has charming with wooden boats and a breathtaking mountain panorama. Here is our 3 day trip to the Dolomites.
EuropeItaly3 days / June 2021
Highs & Lows
Lago di Braies - yes it is as beautiful as in the pictures!
Lago di Carezza - you have to drive a rather long detour and it is "just" one of many beautiful lakes.
Travelling during COVID is not the easiest thing in the world… Luckily, 3 years ago my boyfriend and I decided to buy a van and convert it into a camper van. Roadtrippin with a camper van is literally the most ideal way to travel during COVID times! You are super flexible with your route, stop wherever you want and chase after the sun :)
We already did a roadtrip through Switzerland in summer 2020, which we really enjoyed. For 2021 we decided for the mountains again, but this time we wanted to visit the Dolomites for 3 days in Italy.
Maybe you have already seen the countless pictures of emerald green lakes, wooden boats and scenic mountain views. Fair enough, I feel like the Dolimites got a hype when COVID hit! I expected it to be super crowded, but in fact most of the time, we were alone. In this itinerary I will share not only the most beautiful places we visited, but also when is the best time of the day to visit ;)
No worries! You will not need a camper van to follow our route. You can also go with a rental car and sleep in hotels – there are plenty of nice ones around!
On one hand my expectations of this lake were really high! I had seen so many pictures of Lago di Braies, that it almost felt like I had already seen it with my own eyes.
On the other hand, I read in some articles, that most of the time the lake is crowded and that hundreds of people already arrive in the early morning to catch the best light conditions.
Even though I am also intersted in good light conditions, I am even more intersted in having a place more or less to my own. So I planned to not arrive at the lake in the morning, but to arrive in the late afternoon, when most of the visitiors were about to leave. And this was a success! We got there around 4pm, parked our van and walked to the lake. The parking lot was already quite empty, maybe 20-30 cars - and the lake seemed even more empty! Everything was quite and peaceful, exactly what I wished for.
After circling the lake, we sat down at the restaurant and had a nice beer. We sat there until the sun set and it was beautiful!
We spend the night on the parking lot and decided to rent one of the wooden boats in the next morning. Even though it is quite expensive, I highly recommend to do this! It is such a unique experience! However, 30mins are enough to paddle along the lake and take some pictures ;)
After the beautiful Lago di Braies we decided to change the lakes for mountains.
Seceda was the next place on my Dolomites bucket list! Actually we were really lucky, because the lift up there just opened 2 days before we visited. As you can see on the pictures, there was still a lot of snow on top of Seceda, which was why the lift just started operating.
If you are afraid of hights, this will not be an easy one for you! I am so anxious when it comes to gondolas. However, the only way (for me) to get up there was to take the gondola. Yes, you are also able to hike up there, but this would take a day (return) AND high level of fitness. As we are not advanced hikers, the gondola was the only way :)
Especially the last 200 meters are extremely steep, so I was beyond relieved when we got to the top! From the lift you have to hike around 30mins to the famous view points. If there is no snow, I bet you will even be a bit faster.
After our beautiful Seceda visit, we decided to drive towards Geisleralm. This one was kind of a fail, but also a success :D Let me explain.
There is a parking lot called "Geisleralm" and when you drive up there with your car, the Geissler Spitzen seem to be really close. I just wanted to take a short hike to get closer to them, but this "little walk" turned out to a 1,5 hour hike, ooops.
After these 1,5 hours we reached a beautiful view point, which you can see in the pictures. We saw a sign, that if you want to get to Geisleralm it takes another 1,5 hours. Therefore we decided that we were satisfied with that view and returned back to our car.
What I want to tell you with that: you do not need to do the whole hike, do enjoy some beautiful views!
The next stop we planned in a little village called Val di Funes. This village is mainly famous for its two curches - St. Johann im Ranui and St. Magdalena. Both churches are absolutely beautiful and worth a visit!
We stayed at a camp ground called Gletscherhons. It was located perfectly between both churches, so we went for a little hike to St. Johann in the late afternoon and to St. Magdalena the next morning. Both hikes took us around 1-2 hours.
If you are also visiting with a camper, I highly recommend this camp ground to you! The owner is such a cute lady! They run a little farm with chicken, cows and pigs. We helped to feed the chicken and cuddled with the cows J
Even though there are so many beautiful mountain lakes in the Dolomites, this lake is a special one! With the pines and the mountain panorama in the background, it really creates a special atmosphere. The lake is crytal clear and its emerald color is really special.
We hiked in the afternoon and had the whole lake almost to ourselves!
If this lake lies within your route, definitely do a stop! However, if would need to take a detour of 2-3 hours, I would say, this is not a must-visit. During your stay in the Dolomites, there will be plenty of beautiful mountain lakes to explore!
Q & A
What would you have changed?I would have left out Lago di Carezza. It is a beautful lake and if it lies within your route, you should definitely go for it! However, when you need to take a detour of 1-2 hours, it is not worth it in my opinion. There are countless beautiful lakes in the Dolomites :)
Anything go wrong during the trip?We wanted to visit the Tre Crime, but unfortunatey there was still a lot of snow! If this is a must visit for you, you should consider to go during summer (July, August), because in June there might be too much snow to drive up to the parking lot.
Tips you would give a friend?Definitely go off-season! Check for the summer holidays for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy - and try to avoid this time ;)
Packing tips?Do not forget your hiking books, you will need them! And nuts are always good on the go, especially during a hike
Transportation Tips?If you have the chance to take a camper during summer - go for it!
Booking details?If you are looking for great campground, use the app park4night! You find the costs, but also reviews from travelers who have been there previously. Very helpful!