Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee
The Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) is one of those mountain treasures that turned into a tourist hotspot. Since it is easy to reach loads of people roam the lake shores day by day.
Especially the boats and the rental became a famous spot for photographers and instagramers. If you're looking for nice idyllic lake pictures do not go during the day, especially in high season and good weather.
Authorities decided to start regulating traffic last year, as the streams of people simply got too big. The road to the lake got shut down during peak hours, visitors could use a parking lot about 6km away from the lake, then either just take the walk or hop on the shuttle bus.
Before and after peak hours it was still possible to drive all the way up to the lake and park right by the historic Lago di Braies Hotel. This huge impressive building serves as a hotel since 120 years and is a class listed monument. The rooms are simple, but who needs luxury indoors with such a jewel of nature right at the doorstep?
As soon as you get to the lake you will pause for a moment and just take in the view. It looks exactly like on all those pictures seen on endless instagram posts. Nestled in between wild rock faces sprinkled with trees, the light-coloured sands on the shore and the deep blue-green crystal clear water of the lake make a wonderful colour combination.
The boat house is actually reserved to those who rent a boat, nevertheless lots people get on it and try to shoot the typical instagram shots from the piers and boats. If you don't rent a boat be prepared to get shooed away by the staff, who always stays nice and calm.
A walk around the lake takes about an hour, unless you stop all the time to watch the wonderfull scenes which look different from every angle of the lake.
The Lago di Braies is definitely a must-see, nevertheless a visit can turn into quite a chase when going during „rush hours“.
How to get there
From the Via Pusteria (Pustertaler Staatsstrasse) coming from Bruneck or Toblach, take the exit between Niederdorf and Welsberg, simply following this road to the roundabout. In case the road to the lake is closed you can park here and either walk or take the shuttle.
If it's open, turn right at the roundabout and follow till the end which is right at the lake.
Where to stay
If you're looking for a nice homebase as a starting point for some Dolomites adventures, I can recommend the Skyview Chalets / Camping Toblach right at the Lake Toblach, which is about 30mn drive from the Three Peaks.
The camp site is well equipped, including a shop with local products. The staff is very friendly and always happy to help.The Sykview Chalets are a handfull of gorgeous little huts in a gated area, some equipped with private jacuzzi and sauna. The name says it all, all chalets have a glas cube up front hosting a double bed. Falling asleep under the starry sky has never been easier. Breakfast gets delivered every morning in a basket at the chalet door, all you have to do is pick it up, take it to the bed and enjoy breakfast with a stunning panoramic view.