Published On: May 31, 2024Tags: , , , ,

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Mountains are magic

And these are my favorite lakes in the Dolomites

I have seen a lot of the Dolomites already in the years I visited this stunning part of Italy, but not every single pass and definitely not every lake. Many lakes aren’t even accessible by car or motorcycle from the road and to admire them, you would have to hike the last bit. These hikes could easily become a daytrip on their own. So here is a list of some of the nicest lakes I’ve seen so far (up until summer 2023) and that you can reach without having to hike for hours. Park your motorcycle and pick a spot to eat your lunch like I’ve done countless times at the water.

* With ‘access by foot’ I mean that you don’t have to hike to see it. In some lakes it is forbidden to swim, so always check the signs for restrictions.
** I have tried my best to collect as much accurate data as I could in the legend, but the shown information may not be 100% accurate. 

10. lago nero

On both sides of the summit you can find a small natural lake, one called Lago Nero (black lake) and the other Lago Bianca (white lake). The color of these lakes are slightly different and backup those names. With different walks around the black lake you have incredible views over the summit and down the hairpins. Not very special, yet not too boring – hence the tenth place.

  • Natural lake

  • Passo di Gavia

  • Access: by foot

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9. LAGO DI MONTESPLUGA

A enormous artificial lake which is easily spotted while descending from the Swiss side of the Splügen pass. In any light of day it looks spectacular, but I’ve been here multiple times by the end of the afternoon and when that soft lighting hits, it’s chef’s kiss!

  • Artificial lake

  • Passo dello Spluga

  • Access: by foot

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8. LAGO GIOVERETTO

It may not be well known to the public, but I discovered this road by accident in 2022 and I’ve instantly became a fan of both the road and the views. This alpine water reservoir is located in the Val Martello valley and located in the Stelvio National park. The dead end road is a bit “slow” in the beginning, but once you arrive at the green pine trees, everything changes and you surely must pay close attention to the road.

  • Artificial lake
  • Val Martello valley

  • Access: none

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7. LAGO MISURINA

One of the biggest natural lakes in the Cadore region and it’s located at the foot of the mountain range Cadini di Misurina. When you visit this beautiful lake, make sure to include a visit to the top of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. This toll road (€20,- for motorcycles) takes you to staggering heights and awe-inspiring views. You’ll regret it if you don’t. But if you somehow miss it, at least you got to see this gem.

  • Natural lake

  • Valley of Tre Cime

  • Access: by foot

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6. lago DI GARDA

The biggest lake of Italy! It’s like looking at an ocean when you arrive from the north side. I couldn’t see the end of it and was stunned by how big it actually felt. It’s nearly impossible to tell you how much there is to do here, but as a motorcyclist you must include Strada Della Forra. You might recognize some bits from the James Bond “Quantum of Solace” movie. This gorge road also includes an epic hairpin, I’m curious if you can find it as it’s more beautiful when looked upon from the sky.

  • Natural lake

  • Brescia

  • Access: by foot

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5. LAGO DI RÈSIA

Did you know that Lago di Resia isn’t a natural lake? It was flooded to create a hydroelectric plant in 1950. The only building that wasn’t destroyed is the Curon church tower. It’s a strange sight, seeing only a tower rise above the water, but nowadays it’s listed as the top must-see destination in the region. ⁠The deepest part of the lake is 456 meters down, is a really impressive sight. When the water freezes, you could reach the tower on foot. It is worth reading about the (extended) story behind the sunken tower.

  • Artficial lake

  • South Tyrol
  • Access: by foot

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4. LAGO DI CANCANO

For everyone visiting the Stelvio, I dare to bet that 90% of you haven’t visited this tiny hairpin road on the Bormio side, called Passo Torri di Fraele. The two towers on the summit were part of a fortification, now destroyed. While standing there you see two reservoir lakes in the distance: Lago di San Giacomo and Lago di Cancano. During my previous visit I couldn’t get to the San Giacomo lake due to a runners event, but it was possible to ride down the small offroad patch and onwards the dam of the Cancano lake. The water is as you can see surprisingly turquoise and most definitely worth your time to visit.

  • Artficial lake

  • Passo Torri di Fraele
  • Access: by foot

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3. LAGO DI CAREZZA

Blink and you’ll miss this rainbow lake! I’ll let you research yourself why it’s called like that, but it has something to do with a mermaid and a wizard. This emerald green mountain lake is one of the smallest and popular Dolomites lakes. During summer season the lake is fed by snowmelt and it all year round surrounded by some of the most dramatic peaks in the Dolomites. For those wanting to get close, park on the opposite side of the street (paid) and walk around this vivid lake in only 20 minutes. I regret to this day that I didn’t walk around the first and only time I was here.

  • Natural lake

  • Passo di Costalunga

  • Access: by foot

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2. Lago del Gran San Bernardo

After spending the night here late September 2022, I might have fallen in love with this lake a tiny bit. Seeing it late in the evening while the sun sets and dramatic clouds creep over the mountain has given me some of the most dramatic sunsets which I’ll never be able to erase from my memory. It is divided between Switzerland and Italy and on both sides the road is to die for. It offers (almost) 360 views and has been recently repaved on the Swiss side, making it an even bigger motorcycle paradise.

  • Natural lake

  • Colle del Gran San Bernardo

  • Access: by foot

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1. lago FEDAIA

I instantly remember my first time here, it was the bluest water I’ve ever seen (until then). The icey glacier and dark clouds gathering above the lake added some moody vibes. The combination of surfaces and colors of this lake makes this my number one. Every time I visited the Dolomites I returned here and I stood on the ‘Diga Fedaia’ admiring this special lake. It’s a popular destination both in summer and winter, the Fedaia Pass offers an breathtaking view on the Marmolada glacier, a.k.a. the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’. A true paradise for any visitor of nature as it offers many activities throughout the year.

  • Artificial lake

  • Passo di Fedaia

  • Access: by foot

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