Published on: 26 April 2018 | Last updated: 7 May 2018
The Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies)
At a glance
16 kms (there and back)
Moderately challenging especially in the final climb to the lake
Partly traffic-free. The lake is a popular spot for people to visit, and as a base for day hikes — so expect the road to be busy in the mornings with traffic going to the lake and the afternoons with traffic heading from it. If you head up there in the afternoon and stay overnight, most of the traffic will be heading in the opposite direction.
Asphalt-surfaced cycleway or road for the whole way
Easy to follow and the cycleway section is clearly signposted
Options and variants
There's a bike path that enables you to avoid the road for the whole way. However, it looked like a mountain bike trail.
The Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies) is quite possibly the most beautiful lake in the Dolomites. It's definitely worth the effort of getting there.
Map and altitude profile
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I was pleased to find that what was marked on the map as a track, turned out to be a surfaced road in excellent condition which was closed to traffic for at least part of the way. The radroute takes you into the village of Schmieden (which for some reason was landed with the name Ferrara). To add to the confusion it is marked on the maps as Innerprags (Braies di Dentro), but Schmieden/Ferrara is what it says on the road sign. There is a restaurant-bar here.
From Schmieden I continued by road through Sankt Veit (San Vito). There is also a cycle route that takes you to the lake, but as it is marked as a track on my map, I decided to take the road.
There are lots of places to stay along the way, but I'd strongly recommend staying at the Hotel Pragser Wildsee, the only hotel on the lake itself. Built at the end of the nineteenth century the hotel has been carefully restored and retains a lot of its turn-of-the-century style. another reason for staying at the hotel is that if you want to take photos of the lake with the mountain reflected in the water you need to be up and about at 6:00 in the morning.