Since 2009, the Dolomites have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this is no wonder. In fact, these mountains of the Italian Western Alps offer a breathtaking landscape, with large green valleys, crystal clear lakes and mountain buildings that make the landscape worthy of a postcard.
I decided to escape the heat and noise of the plain for a weekend in these quiet and cool places. So I decided to stay in Dobbiaco at the Alpenhotel Ratsberg, a beautiful hotel with a magnificent view of Dobbiaco and with a strategic position near the lakes, the destination of my walks: Lake Braies and Sorapis.
Lake Braies is located in the municipality of Braies, in the province of Bolzano in Trentino Alto Adige, 15 km (20 minutes by car) from Dobbiaco. The convenience is that you can get into the car and simply park next to the lake in the parking lots (6€ from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., then 0,50 cent for every half hour) to continue on foot for a tour around the lake.
There was a weekend in early July when the forecast put some rain and instead always remember that the weather in the mountains is so variable. But I say this to make you understand that I expected to find a few people and instead the path around the lake there were much more people than I expected, going to ruin a bit ‘the atmosphere of wild nature.
The lake in turn gave me an unforgettable landscape with a game of ups and downs, which I would advise against if not equipped with hiking shoes. The route lasts about an hour and a half going very calmly. It is also possible to rent a rowboat and take a romantic tour of the lake (28 € per hour and 18 € half an hour). If you have never rowed, I suggest you ask for a small lesson from the available guys because the first 5 minutes are the most challenging.
For TV series fans, the TV series ONE STEP FROM THE SKY was filmed in these places with Terence Hill, which made these territories a place of pilgrimage for fans of the protagonist Pietro Thiene.
Lake Sorapis is characterized by its turquoise color and is located at an altitude of 1,900 meters above sea level. The lake can only be reached on foot and is located between Misurina and Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL), 26 km from Dobbiaco.
The beginning of the walk is well indicated by signs and especially you will find at the beginning of the various cars parked along the road. The route has sections with a significant uphill and steep, also some points require you to keep along the protections with steel ropes. I advise you not to tackle it without boots, the risk of dislocation is very high and avoid carrying strollers as it is impractical.
The hard climb is enlivened by the mountain range to the left and from which you can admire the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, symbol of the Dolomites.
Once you arrive at your destination, you will also find the Vandelli refuge where you can recover your energy. I personally made the tour up to the middle of the lake and I lay down in the green meadow to observe the “Finger of God“, where there was still some icy snow.
San Candido – Lienz
Near Dobbiaco, there is San Candido, very close to the Austrian border. Starting from this town you can venture into a beautiful bike ride along the bike path of the Drava della Val Pusteria. This bike path brings me to the memories of when I was little and I had fun to ride along the path all downhill.
In fact, San Candido is located 500 meters above Lienz and are connected by an asphalt bike path of 44 km, and along almost the entire route you can enjoy a gentle descent that will make you pedal very little.
You can start by taking the track near the train station of San Candido and the ride takes 2-3 hours, along which you can find several rest stops to enjoy nature. For the return you can choose to return by train loading the bike, avoiding to do the same road but uphill!
Between the green of the pastures and the white of the mountains, I have found peace and Call Me Claire advises you to discover the mountain and face the hard proposals because they will give you a priceless show.