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Welcome to our travel guide to Lake Misurina, the “Pearl of the Dolomites.”
Located in the idyllic province of Belluno in northeastern Italy, this natural enchantment offers a haven of serenity nestled among some of the world’s most spectacular mountains, the Dolomites.
With its prime location, Misurina offers a wide range of activities for all tastes and ages, from relaxing walks along its shores to adventurous hikes on the surrounding peaks.
In the heart of the Veneto region, just a short distance from famous resorts such as Cortina d’Ampezzo and Toblach, Lake Misurina provides an excellent base for exploring one of the world’s most fascinating mountain landscapes.
Whether you are looking for a destination for a relaxing summer vacation, an autumn journey of discovery, or a fantastic winter adventure, Misurina has something to offer in every season.
Through our guide, you will find useful and practical information that will make your visit to this pearl of the Dolomites easier and more enjoyable.
You’ll find tips on how to get to the lake, the best activities to do in each season, where to stay, and more. Get ready to discover the timeless beauty of Lake Misurina!
What to see in and around Misurina
In the heart of Italy’s Dolomites, the small town of Misurina offers an unparalleled range of natural splendors. This gem of a village lies on the enchanting lake surrounded by majestic alpine peaks and rich local flora and fauna.
Tour of Lake Misurina
The Lake Misurina tour is a fascinating experience that allows you to learn about an authentic side of the Italian Dolomites, blending breathtaking scenery and rich natural heritage. The following are highlights and useful tips for embarking on this memorable journey.
Approximately 2.6 km long, the Misurina Lake loop is an easy and accessible trail that is ideal for all ages. The flat trail is well marked and entirely encircles the lake offering breathtaking views of crystal clear waters and surrounding mountains.
The itinerary begins in the village of Misurina, directly overlooking the lake. From here, proceed clockwise or counterclockwise along the bank, passing through wooded areas and flower meadows. The trail offers many scenic spots perfect for a photo break or picnic.
The Misurina Lake Tour takes in a route that unveils the beauty of the Dolomites from different angles, with opportunities to glimpse local wildlife such as fawns and squirrels.
Attractions along the Route
There are numerous attractions along the route:
- Benches and picnic areas along the route provide resting places to relax or picnic.
- Several species of fish and occasionally ducks and swans can be spotted in the lake.
- Near the lake are several restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy local dishes or take a short break.
- In summer, you can rent paddleboats for a lake adventure or enjoy a boat trip.
Three Peaks of Lavaredo Panoramic Road
Crossing the Three Peaks of Lavaredo Panoramic Road is an experience that is, without a doubt, breathtaking. This road, famous for its spectacular views of the magnificent Three Peaks of Lavaredo and the panorama of the Dolomites, is an ode to the natural beauty of Italy.
The Three Peaks Panoramic Road runs for 7.5 kilometers, connecting Lake Misurina to the Auronzo Refuge. It is a toll road, open from late May to late October, depending on weather conditions.
The beginning of the itinerary features views of the Sorapiss, Marmarole and Antelao mountain ranges. Continuing on, the imposing Three Peaks of Lavaredo begin to come into view.
At an elevation of 2,333 meters, the Auronzo Refuge is the end point of the road. From here, you have the opportunity to take several hikes, including the famous Three Peaks tour.
Traveling on this road is an experience not to be missed, with its breathtaking scenery, countless viewpoints, and proximity to some of the most majestic peaks in the Dolomites.
Attractions Along the Route
Viewpoints: There are numerous viewpoints along the road where you can stop to admire the scenery, take photographs or enjoy a picnic in the midst of nature.
Rifugio Auronzo: This refuge offers spectacular views of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo and serves food and drink. In addition, it is the starting point for many excursions.
Hikes: Several hikes start from the scenic road, including one along the Three Peaks of Lavaredo and one to Rifugio Locatelli. These hikes vary in length and difficulty, so there is something suitable for everyone from beginner hikers to experts.
Ideal conditions for driving along the Three Peaks of Lavaredo Panoramic Road are from late spring to fall, when the road is normally open to traffic. In autumn, the colors of foliage offer a unique visual experience.
Hike to Mount Piana
The hike from Lake Misurina to Mt. Piana is an exciting experience rich in history and natural beauty. This trail offers breathtaking views of the Dolomites and provides an unforgettable walk through the history of World War I.
The starting point of the hike is Lake Misurina. From here, continue along the road in the direction of the Auronzo Refuge. After about 3 km, you will turn left onto a dirt road and begin the ascent to Mt. Piana.
The dirt road is quite steep, but well marked and passable. The well-marked trail climbs up through the forest until it reaches the foot of Mt. Piana.
From here, you can choose to continue to the left, where a convenient path leads up to the summit plateau, or follow the path that leads to the right and directly reaches the Angelo Bosi Shelter (2,205m), which is located exactly on the Monte Piana plateau.
Attractions along the Camino
On the summit floor of Mt. Piana you can visit the Great War Outdoor Museum. Evidence of the bombardments, trenches, and Austrian and Italian military positions are still visible and represent an important page of history.
In summer, the plateau is transformed into a veritable natural garden with green meadows and flowers, where local wildlife can be spotted.
From here, the views are unparalleled: the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, Croda dei Toni, Monte Cristallo, Toblin Tower and Marmarole are just some of the easily recognizable peaks.
Other Attractions around Misurina
Besides Lake Misurina, the Dolomites offer many other interesting and enchanting attractions in its surroundings. Two of the main nearby towns are Cortina d’Ampezzo and Auronzo di Cadore, which are definitely worth a visit during your stay.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is a renowned mountain resort located 14 km west of Misurina. Also known as the “Queen of the Dolomites,” Cortina attracts many visitors because of its charm, rich history and diverse leisure offerings.
Activities in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Hiking: Cortina offers numerous hiking trails, from easy and relaxing routes to challenging mountaineering adventures.
- Skiing: During the winter, Cortina d’Ampezzo is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders, thanks to its many slopes and ski lifts.
- Shopping and Dining: The city has a wide range of stores, restaurants and cafes to suit every taste and budget.
Auronzo di Cadore
Auronzo di Cadore is a picturesque municipality located 24 km east of Misurina. Its location along the Ansiei River and at the foot of the Dolomites makes it an excellent base for outdoor activities and immersing oneself in nature.
Activities in Auronzo di Cadore
- Lake Santa Caterina: This charming alpine lake, located just outside Auronzo di Cadore, is ideal for walks, picnics and relaxing moments.
- Belluno Dolomites Adventure Park: Located between Auronzo and Misurina, this adventure park offers adrenaline-pumping trails through the trees, Tibetan bridges and zip lines for adults and children.
- Hiking and Trekking: Auronzo di Cadore is one of the starting points for hiking to the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo, an iconic mountain group in the Dolomites. The trails offer breathtaking views and vary in difficulty, suitable for both experienced hikers and beginners.
What to do in Misurina
Misurina offers a wide variety of activities for all seasons.
Walking and Trekking
The area offers countless walking trails, such as the hike to Mount Piana or the loop around Lake Misurina, both of which offer spectacular views.
Mountain Bike Excursions
There are several mountain bike trails in the area, ideal for exploring the magnificent Dolomite region.
During the summer, you can take an unforgettable boat ride on Lake Misurina by renting a rowboat.
When to visit Lake Misurina
Lake Misurina has a unique charm in every season of the year and is a captivating destination with much to offer whatever time of year you decide to visit.
Spring is a great time to visit Lake Misurina, when nature awakens from its winter hibernation. The lake thaws and the surrounding area begins to bloom, providing a rich panorama of new colors and new life throughout the landscape. The mild spring temperatures make this time of year ideal for long walks and hikes.
In the hot and sunny summer, Lake Misurina becomes an ideal place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Summer activities include swimming, boating and fishing in the lake. In addition, you can go hiking or mountain biking in the surrounding mountains. The fresh mountain air and breathtaking views make it a perfect refuge from the summer heat of the cities.
If you are a fan of fall colors, a visit to Lake Misurina in autumn will not disappoint. The fall colors transform the landscape into a warm palette; it is the perfect time to take pictures or simply enjoy a quiet picnic on the shores of the lake.
The lake also becomes a popular destination in winter, when it turns into a natural skating rink. In addition, Misurina is known for its cross-country skiing trails and offers the opportunity to enjoy winter sports such as downhill skiing and snowboarding. Watching the frozen lake with snow-capped mountains in the background is a sight not to be missed.
Lake Misurina: where it is located and how to get there
Where to Find Lake Misurina
It is part of the historical-geographical region of Cadore, which largely corresponds to the Eastern Dolomites chain, and is mainly located in the territory of the upper province of Belluno.
Lake Misurina is located near some of the most beautiful locations in the Dolomites, all of which are easily accessible for day trips: Cortina is 14 km away, Toblach is 16 km away, and the center of Auronzo is 24 km away (about the same distance for San Candido), e Canazei 50 miles away.
How to get to Lake Misurina
Getting to Lake Misurina by car is quite easy. Coming from Belluno, one can take the SS51 northbound following the signs for Cortina d’Ampezzo. Before arriving in Cortina d’Ampezzo, following the signs for Misurina, turn left onto SP49. The route is well marked and the road offers spectacular panoramic views.
If you are coming from Bolzano, take the SS49 Val Pusteria highway east to Toblach, then take the turn-off to Cortina d’Ampezzo on the SS51. From here, turn right onto SP49 following the signs for Misurina.
There are also bus routes connecting the main cities in the region with Misurina. Direct buses to Misurina depart from Belluno and Calalzo di Cadore stations. During the summer season, higholtre, there is a bus service from the center of Cortina d’Ampezzo to Lake Misurina.
The nearest train station is in Calalzo di Cadore, which is connected to Belluno and Venice. From Calalzo, regular buses run to Misurina.
- How big is Lake Misurina?
Lake Misurina is the largest natural lake in Cadore and measures about 2.6 kilometers in circumference.
Are there activities for children at Lake Misurina?
Yes, children can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, ice skating in winter and canoeing in summer.
Are there any guided tours or excursions to Lake Misurina?
Yes, there are several agencies and local guides offering tours and excursions in the Lake Misurina area.
Are there any restaurants or cafes near Lake Misurina?
Yes, you will find several restaurants and cafes offering panoramic views of the lake.
Is it possible to swim in Lake Misurina?
Yes, it is possible to swim in the lake during the summer months.
Is fishing allowed on Lake Misurina?
Yes, you can fish in the lake as long as you have a fishing license.
Are there picnic areas at Lake Misurina?
There are several picnic areas around Lake Misurina, some of which also offer barbecue facilities.
Can pedal boats or canoes be rented on Lake Misurina?
Yes, during the summer months it is possible to rent pedal boats and canoes.
What accommodations are available near Lake Misurina?
From campgrounds to guesthouses to vacation rentals, there is a wide variety of accommodations near Lake Misurina.
How much time should I expect to visit Lake Misurina?
You can visit the lake area in a few hours, but to fully enjoy the surrounding activities you may also need to stay for several days.
ALLOGGI SULLE DOLOMITI