There are a lot of amazing off-the-beaten-track places in Italy and Misurina Lake is one of them. This natural gem is located high in the Dolomites, but easily accessible by car.
No matter if it's only a weekend trip or a 2-week holiday - you won't feel bored there. For me, Misurina is one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites.
You might want to consider going there if:
- You're an adventure addict, outdoor enthusiast, travel aficionado, and/or mountain lover.
- You adore Dolomites.
- You want to hike via ferrata trails.
- You prefer cities but appreciate nice views and could do with some fresh air.
- You're not a beach person and want an active honeymoon in a breathtaking location. We spent our honeymoon in Misurina and think it's a romantic place to celebrate the first days after the wedding.
Misurina Lake Italy
Misurina Lake - a quick overview
Misurina Lake, also known as Lago di Misurina, is a stunning alpine lake located in the Cadore region of the Veneto province in northern Italy.
In Misurina, the atmosphere is definitely laid-back.
Everyone wears comfortable sports clothes. Even if someone just dropped by traveling somewhere else, there will be no fancy clothes and rating the others according to the brand they wear.
There will be many people with sports gear.
Besides a relaxed fashion attitude, Misurina offers the greatest views ever - the village is located by a lake and surrounded by Sexten Dolomites peaks, including the Sorapiss and the Cadini di Misurina. The Tre Cime di Lavaredo, a famous trio of peaks, is visible in the distance.
Here are a few interesting facts about Misurina:
📌 Misurina Lake is situated at an elevation of approximately 1,754 meters (5,754 feet) above sea level.
📌 The lake has a unique elongated shape and covers an area of about 1.42 square kilometers (0.55 square miles) which makes it one of the largest natural lakes in the Cadore region.
📌 Its maximum depth is around 5 meters (16 feet).
📌 Despite the relative remoteness of Misurina Lake, the tourist infrastructure is good. There are comfortable hotels, restaurants and camping available. And a chair lift.
📌 It can be reached traveling on road SP49.
The Legend of the Misurina Princess
In simple words, here's the story:
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who lived near Lake Misurina. Her father, who was a powerful sorcerer, was very protective of her. The princess was full of life and loved exploring the nearby woods and meadows.
One day, against her father's wishes, she ventured too far into the forest. There, she met a handsome prince, and they fell deeply in love. However, her father disapproved of the prince, seeing him as a threat to his daughter's safety.
In a fit of anger, the sorcerer cast a spell on the princess, turning her into the peaceful lake that we now know as Lake Misurina. The legend says that her reflection can still be seen in the crystal-clear waters of the lake.
The Misurina Princess remains a symbol of the enchanting and mysterious nature of the Dolomite region, and her story adds a touch of romance to the beauty of Lake Misurina (no wonder we chose this place as our honeymoon destination 😉).
Best hotels in Misurina
There aren't many hotels near Misurina Lake which is an advantage for me - Misurina is a place for getaway vacations. It's so beautiful and unique that it doesn't need a wide range of places to stay.
We stayed in the Hotel Sorapiss and liked it a lot. Our room was comfortable and clean, we had a balcony from which we admired the lake and mountains. The buffet breakfast was tasty, everything was fresh.
Another highly-rated hotel in Misurina on Booking.com is Quinz - Locanda Al Lago. Guests are delighted with the decor, spacious rooms and delicious breakfast.
If you prefer to stay in apartments, choose Chalet Alpenrose. Guests appreciate friendly staff, modern and spacious apartments and abundant breakfast. Many guests consider it one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites.
Places to eat
Misurina is located close to the Italian-Austrian border and the cuisine there is a mixture of dishes and flavours from these two countries.
The most popular restaurants in Misurina are Edelweiss and Quinz-Locanda Al Lago. Both are located close to the lake and were our favourite places to eat.
Edelweiss is a pizzeria offering just a few other dishes besides pizza. But who doesn't like pizza? They serve truly Italian pizzas - thin crust and few ingredients. Simple but delicious. We liked practically all the pizzas we ate there, especially the one with aubergine.
Quinz restaurant offers a more ample menu - everyone will find something to their liking there. We may not be objective because we love Italian food - for us everything in Quinz was delicious! I highly recommend ordering their tiramisu at least once - the best tiramisu I've ever had. This place is a bit more pricey than Edelweiss.
Ristorante Bar Alla Baita - we had dinner there after returning from a hike - it's right next to a hiking trail. We ordered polenta with a goulash and lasagna. It was OK but the portions were a bit too small for the prices (maybe we were too hungry after hiking?). This restaurant is located a bit further from Misurina Lake.
Service in all these restaurants was great, waiters were friendly and helpful.
Despite lots of hiking, we returned home a few kilograms heavier 😉
Hiking trails near Misurina
Thanks to its altitude, Misurina is a great base for hiking and climbing via ferrata trails. It's located in the heart of Dolomites, right next to the famous Tre Cime Natural Park and it offers a variety of hiking trails:
When searching for via ferrata trails I often use klettersteig.de. What I like about this website is that it offers a complete list of climbing trails - all mapped. It's available only in German language but you can easily deduce and/or translate the necessary info.
There are 5 mountain huts which can be easily reached on foot starting from Misurina:
- Auronzo (2333 metres) - located in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Natural Park. Accessible by foot, car or bus. I highly recommend getting to Auronzo by bus - a ticket from Misurina (bus stop next to Camping Alla Baita) costs only 4 EUR per adult person. Car access charge is high - it costs 25 EUR and only makes sense if you travel in a bigger group.
- Rifugio A. Locatelli (2438 m) - located in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Natural Park, right in front of the famous rocks.
- Col de Varda (2106 metres).
- Citta' Di Carpi - CAI (2110 metres).
- Fonda Savio (2367 metres).
- Bosi (2205 metres) - accessible also by jeep shuttle (start next to Camping Alla Baita).
Here are some of the via ferrata trails near Misurina Lake:
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo also called the Drei Zinnen is one the most famous places in Dolomites.
The most popular hike in the area is the loop around the Tre Cime rocks. It's technically an easy trail, very pleasant to hike (and spectacular). The circuit hike takes about 4-5 hours and there are 2 mountain huts on the way - Auronzo and Locatelli.
For more details about this route, check this article.
The easiest hike in Misurina is the path circling the lake. It takes about 40 minutes to walk around Lake Misurina but it's likely to last longer - there are benches along the path which invite you to sit, relax and admire the stunning beauty of the lake.
Map of Dolomites
When I go hiking in the mountains (especially those which I don't know very well) I always take with me a paper map. Paper maps offer several advantages, despite the popularity of digital mapping technologies.
Here are some benefits of using paper maps:
🗺️ Unlike digital devices, paper maps don't require any power source. This makes them reliable in remote or outdoor areas where access to power is limited.
🗺️ Paper maps aren't affected by issues such as poor signal or lack of internet.
🗺️ Rain, snow or low temperatures won't damage a laminated paper map. And if they do, well, better have a damaged map than a damaged smartphone.
🗺️ Paper maps are excellent for trip planning, allowing users to see the bigger picture of a route or destination. They provide a comprehensive view of the geography and topography.
You may check maps of the Dolomites on Amazon.com:
Weather in Misurina
The most important thing that one needs to be aware of is the chilly weather. It won't be scorching hot in Misurina, not even in the summer. Nights are cold and windy. One day we woke up and saw there was a snowfall at night (it was July!).
The unpredictable weather in Misurina is caused by its high altitude and the proximity of mountains. Even if you travel in the summer it's highly advisable to take additional pieces of clothing: a fleece jumper, a windproof jacket, and comfortable covered shoes.
If you're planning on hiking in Dolomites, you need to come prepared:
Interesting tours in the area
Guided tours can enhance your travel experience, especially in a region like the Dolomites which offers so many hiking trails and scenic spots.
You may want to go on a guided tour if you would like to:
✅ Gain in-depth knowledge about the region's history and cultural heritage.
✅ Discover the most beautiful places and hidden gems.
✅ Manage your time efficiently (especially if you visit Misurina only for a couple of days).
Here are some of the most interesting and highly-rated options on Get Your Guide:
Non-hiking things to do in Misurina
If you're not interested in hiking in Dolomites or would like to mix things up, here are some ideas:
Rent a pedal boat
Pedal boats are popular for recreational activities. It's one of the most relaxing things to do in Misurina 🙂 and the best way to enjoy the calm water of the lake.
Such boats can be rented at Hotel Lavaredo, right next to Edelweiss Pizzeria.
Go for a ride on an e-bike
Near Lake Misurina there is the "Lake Cycle Track" which is part of "Pista Ciclabile Auronzo-Misurina". You can rent an e-bike or traditional bike and go for a ride. The bikes can be rented at Hotel Lavaredo.
For more cycling routes check out Trecimebike.it website.
See the open-air museum on Monte Piana
Monte Piana Open-Air Museum is a unique historical site in the Dolomites.
It holds great historical importance due to its role during World War I. Monte Piana was a significant battleground where Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces clashed between 1915 and 1917.
The artefacts and remnants from World War I are left in their original positions on the mountain, creating a historical landscape. You can explore the well-preserved trenches, tunnels, and fortifications that were once part of the front lines. There are various artefacts, including bunkers, barbed wire, and military equipment.
Seeing war remnants in such a beautiful place is a unique and moving experience.
I must admit this trip includes a bit of hiking as the museum is located all over the mountain but it's worth the effort (and there are no significant altitude changes).
Entry is free of charge. You may leave your car at Parcheggio Auronzo parking (Google Maps link) near Auronzo mountain hut.
Visit Lago di Braies
This stunning lake is located about 35 km from Lake Misurina but it's definitely worth the travel.
Lago di Braies, also known as Lake Braies or Pragser Wildsee, is located in the Prags Dolomites in South Tyrol. It's part of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park.
Surrounded by dramatic peaks and dense forests, Braies Lake served as a filming location for the Italian TV series "Un passo dal cielo" ("A Step from Heaven").
You can rent a boat there or simply admire the stunning views from the nearby cafe.
There's a parking near the lake (Google Maps link)
Roads in Italy
Traveling in Italy is made easier by a network of highways spanning 7,170 kilometers. Additionally, travelers have access to over 18,000 kilometers of national roads, known in Italian as "strade statali."
Driving on highways in Italy, like in most European countries, is paid. The tolls are relatively high.
Unlike countries such as the Czech Republic, Switzerland, or Austria, where a vignette is sufficient, in Italy, you need to pay a toll each time you use the highway. The toll amount depends on the kilometers traveled.
The toll rates on highways in Italy depend on the region but we may say that in 2023, on average, it was around 7.5 Euros for every 100 kilometers for a passenger car.
When entering an Italian highway, you need to stop and take a ticket, which will be required to pay the toll when exiting.
Fees also apply to four tunnels that significantly shorten travel time through the Alps:
- Great St Bernard Tunnel,
- Mont Blanc Tunnel,
- Fréjus Tunnel,
- Munt La Schera Tunnel, also known as the Livigno Tunnel.
Payments can be made in cash or by credit and, alternatively, debit cards. However, I don't recommend to rely entirely on cashless payments, it's always better to have some cash on hand.
Another option is the Telepass. It's a device that you put in your car and it allows you to travel on highways and use parkings in 14 European countries. You may read more about it here.
If you will be travelling by plane consider using Booking.com - it offers cheap flight booking services. You may compare flights from 500+ airlines to destinations around the world.
You can check deals on flights here:
If you plan to visit a few different places in Italy and explore the Dolomites, the most convenient and fast way to travel is to rent a car.
When we need to rent a car we always use Rentalcars.com and are happy with them, never had any issues with this company.
You may check deals on car hire in Italy here:
Other beautiful lakes in Europe
Mountains of Europe - spectacular places
Mountains in Europe are fantastic places to explore and enjoy nature's wonders. Here are some of the best places in Europe for mountain lovers and hiking enthusiasts:
I wish you a fantastic time in Misurina Italy! 💙