The Braies Lake, considered the Pearl of the Dolomites, is part of Unesco’s World Heritage and deserves particular care and attention.
There are three parking lots from where you can start your walk to the Lake Braies; from here you walk up for 93 metres and along a two-hour rout along which you can admire the crystal waters of this alpine lake.
The bravest can even try taking a swim in its fresh water, to cool down on a long summer day, and who loves sunbathing can do so on one of the many beaches along its shore or maybe even rent a boat.
From the Lake Braies you can take different routes for a hike; if you’d like to see the Tre Cime (the three peaks) you need to walk up the Mount Specie in the Braies Valley, an unforgettable walk that isn’t too difficult, perfect for the entire family. The starting point for this walk is the parking lot of Prato Piazza, 1.979 metres above sea level. During the summer months there’s a bus that takes you there from Ponticello/Braies from 10 am to 4 pm. If you want to set off before 10 you can drive along the road to Prato Piazza paying a toll. The walk is lovely, 3 hours to go up 330 meters and along 9,5 kilometres, with lovely views of the Dolomites. Along the way, in front of the Rifugio Vallandro, there’s a building from the Austro-Hungarian front that was along the ex-Italian border and was used to protect the Valleys of Landro and Old Braies.
After the war the walls of the building were damaged and were partly restructured. Prato Piazza during the First World War was a very contested area, and the cross on Monte Specie was set there by the fighters of Val Pusteria in memory of their comrades in arms that fell during the two wars.
From here the sights are wonderful.
If you want to go up to the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, that are considered among the most wonderful sights of the mountaineering world, you need to set off from Misurina, from which you take the road with a pay toll (25 € per vehicle) that goes up to the southern side of the Three Peaks. You leave your car in one of the many parking lots near the Auronzo mountain house, where the road ends.
From here you take the path up to discover the beauties of the Dolomites, a 3-4 hour walk that passes by the mountain houses of Lavaredo and Locatelli (http://www.dolomiti.com/itinerari/itinerari-9.htm).
Another enchanted place is Val Fiscalina a Sesto, a valley of rare beauty, only 4,5 kilometres long and with the most breath taking views: it’s a wonderful place with fields of flowers and thick woods; from typical mountain houses to huge rocky cliffs that are UNESCO heritage: the Fiscalina Valley starts from Moso, through the National Park of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, up to the mountain house of Fondovalle. The Fiscalina Vally is the ideal starting point for many walks that all have incredible views of the Meridiana di Sesto.
Ph. Andrea Zangrando