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A Perfect Weekend at Lake Braies & The Dolomites

A vacation to Italy doesn’t have to be beach clubs and sea views! A visit to the Dolomites and the picturesque Lake Braies offers a refreshing mountain adventure and perfect weekend!

Man and woman in brown row boat on Lake Braies and Lake is aqua

Have you heard of the South Tyrol Region of Italy? What about the Dolomites? Pretty beautiful right? But there’s more than just skiing for tourists. 

The Dolomites is a perfect (and refreshing) trip to the mountains during your Italy tour. Base your trip around a visit to Lake Braies. Lago di Braies (Italian) or Pragser Wildsee (in German) is an Alpine lake in a UNESCO world heritage site in the South Tyrol, Italy.

You might hear German in the area. It is as spoken there as Italian and you’ll find a pretty cool blend of Austrian and Italian culture. Bring on the mountain food!

Michele surprised me with this trip for my birthday. I didn’t know where we were going until we were there. Family, couples retreat, trip with the homies: a weekend in Lake Braies and the Dolomites is the perfect escape from the summer heat.

Road in the mountain pass of the dolomites with green on the side and mountains in the middle

Getting there: Heading up to the Dolomites is about a 4 hr drive from Bergamo. From Jul 11th – Sept 10th there are seasonal buses to Lake Braies. Online reservation and pre-payment are neccessary. It takes 20 minutes to reach Lago di Braies from Villabassa and about 30 minutes from Dobbiaco. 

infitinity pool with the mountains in the background
Michele in the pool at hotel

Where to stay: Infinity pool in the mountains, yes please! Michele chose Hotel Andermax because of its location and that gorgeous spa area. Great food, there was even a playroom for kids. We did have to switch rooms. The deluxe room that Michele booked was right on the crowded parking lot. We ended up switching to a smaller room, still partially parking lot views but higher up. The parking lot is definitely an eyesore in an otherwise stunning location.

Hotel on the lake between pines
Hotel Lago di Braies is another option for a stay.

To Eat: On the drive we made a delicious lunch pit stop at a vineyard, Cantina Roeno. It was a delicious, light meal in the garden. We’re in the mountains so the food can be pretty hearty. And Austrian. My favorite was a South Tyrolean dumpling-like, canederli with speck in a light broth at traditional restaurant Wiesthaler. A cool place to take in the sunset and an aperitivo, Botanic Wachtler, Bar, Bistro & Shop (0474 913462).

To See and Do:

man in striped shirt walking around edge of lake

Summer in the Dolomites is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and spa-ing. Enjoy the outdoors. We saw piles of bike at the train station. Rent a bike and go through the area! Lienz in Austria is only 40 minutes away from San Candido!

Made popular by social media in recent years, Lake Braies and renting a rowboat is a bucket list experience. Remember, swimming is not allowed! After rowing, take a walk (about an hr pretty easy) around the entire lake.

man in striped shirt rowing on lake braies
Walking around the edge of Lake Braies

The region has beautiful vineyards that you should experience.

Woman in pink skirt in front of fairytale like Villa in San Candido
view of the Dolomites from San Candido golden hour

Make sure to explore the beautiful town San Candido where you’ll get a glimpse of  lovely Tyrolean style houses and shops and a blend of German and Austrian culture.

woman in boat on blue green lake braies with dolomites in the background

TIP: Boat rental gets crazy (it’s a small lake!) so definitely go in the morning. We were having breakfast at the hotel by 7:30am. Also the benefit of going in the morning, the way the sun reflects on the lake makes it extra pretty!

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