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Lago di Carezza: How to Visit This Beautiful Italian Lake (Karersee)

Planning a visit to the beautiful Lago di Carezza in Italy? You’ve come to the right place!

Nestled amongst the snowy peaks of the Italian Alps, this alpine lake is a place of stunning natural beauty. Imagine emerald waters, towering peaks and a perfect reflection.

Carezza Lake (or Karersee Lake in German) is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Dolomites, as well as one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, and it’s easy to see why.

In this article I have outlined everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful Italian lake. Including how to get there, the best tine to visit, what to expect and more.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and start planning your perfect Lake Carezza visit!

Lago di Carezza in the Dolomites, Italy, with its perfect reflection

Lago di Carezza in the Dolomites, Italy, with its perfect reflection

What is Lago di Carezza (or Karersee)?

Italy has some pretty famous lakes, namely in the form of Lake Garda and Lake Como. But there are many more lakes besides these, one of them being Lago di Carezza.

This lake – also known by its German name, Karersee Lake – is located in Trentino, northern Italy.

Situated 1,519 metres above sea level, it’s a beautiful alpine lake with gleaming emerald water, surrounded by spruce trees.

It’s particularly scenic thanks to Lago di Carezza having the Dolomites towering behind it, which adds to the drama of the place. This small mountain lake is known as the fairy tale lake of the Dolomites, and it’s easy to see why.

The vibrant colors and crystal clear water that you can expect to see on a sunny day are simply stunning.

Enjoying the view over Carezza Lake from the viewing platform

Enjoying the view over Carezza Lake from the viewing platform

How to get to Carezza Lake

By car

Driving to Lake Carezza, South Tyrol, is the easiest way to get there. Getting there by car is simple: there’s a parking lot on the opposite side of the street, meaning you can stop off without having to hike ages to get there.

The parking area costs 1 euro per hour but the first 15 minutes are free. Driving also gives you the most flexibility of course, as you can easily hit up more than one sight in a day.

It takes 34 minutes to drive the 26 kilometres to the lake from Bolzano, which is a main transport hub in the area.

From the small town of Vigo di Fassa (which features numerous hotels for the ski slopes on its doorstep), Carezza Lake is 13 kilometres away (an 18-minute drive).


Me and Ale enjoying the beauty of Lago di Carezza in the Dolomites, Italy

Me and Ale enjoying the beauty of Lago di Carezza in the Dolomites, Italy

By public transport

From Vigo di Fassa the bus, number 180, takes half an hour. From Bolzano bus station, it’s also the 180 bus, which takes around 55 minutes to get to Carezza Lake.

With a tour

A tour is a great option to reach Lago di Carezza. This particular tour is a cool one because not only does it take you to Lago di Carezza, but also a whole lot of other iconic sights in the Dolomites.

It leaves from Bolzano and takes in a number of sights including Karerpass and Residence Grand Hotel Carezza, which was built in 1893 and was the first hotel in the Dolomites; Agatha Christie herself stayed here!

Click here to book your tour to the Dolomites & Lago di Carezza! 

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Lago di Carezza (or Karersee Lake) with its towering mountains and perfect reflection at golden hour

Lago di Carezza (or Karersee Lake) with its towering mountains and perfect reflection at golden hour

Where is Lago di Carezza

Below I have embedded a map with the exact position of Carezza Lake. If you plan on driving, simply follow it on Google Maps to reach this stunning alpine lake.

Best time to visit Lago di Carezza 

In terms of season, it doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit the lake. It doesn’t change much from summer to winter, though in terms of visitor numbers it may be busier in the summer months. 

It would make sense to visit during the winter months if you’re already in the area for an Italian Christmas or skiing – but then again, if you’re here during summer for some epic hikes, it would be a great addition to your Dolomites itinerary, too.

Regarding the time of day, it’s much better to get either in the early morning or late afternoon.

There’s less wind at these times, meaning that the surface of the lake is less fractured and you get to see the perfect reflection of the trees in the water.

It’s pretty during the day too, of course, but it can be choppier with more wind and barely any reflection.

Enjoying the view over Carezza Lake from the viewing platform

Enjoying the view over Carezza Lake from the viewing platform

What to expect at Lago di Carezza

Once you’re at Lago di Carezza, Italy, what can you do there? That’s a good question.

First and foremost, it’s a beautiful place to snap pictures, so it’s a great place to visit for photographers. There’s a viewing platform for this very reason, so that you can get that perfect photo.

Note that the lake is fenced. You won’t be able to go down to the water level. There are signs pretty much everywhere telling you not to jump over the fence (and not to litter, of course).

Please be responsible travellers and follow what these signs say!

However, there is much more to do here than just take pictures. At the parking area, there’s a visitor centre which has a restaurant, cafe, shop and toilets.


The beautiful alpine lake of Carezza, in Italy, at sunset

The beautiful alpine lake of Carezza, in Italy, at sunset

What with the hiking trail that goes around the lake – it’s a small lake and takes only 20 minutes to do the circular route – you can spend a fair amount of time here walking in nature, taking photos from different angles and then eating a hearty meal.

In the mood for more hiking? There are hiking trails from nearby towns that allow you to trek to the lake.

One particularly good Lago di Carezza hike is the historic Herrensteig trail from Nova Levante (also called Welschnofen) to the shores of the lake.

This 9-kilometre trail takes around three hours to complete and is moderately difficult.

There’s a relatively easy winter hike, too. This leads from Obereggen to Lake Carezza via the 6.6-kilometer Templweg trail, taking just under two hours to complete.

Cycling in Vigo di Fassa in Trentino, Italy

Cycling in Vigo di Fassa in Trentino, Italy

The legend of Lake Carezza, Italy

There’s actually a cool legend attached to this sparkling rainbow lake. The story goes that the wizard Masaré was in love with a beautiful mermaid who lived in the lake.

In order to make her fall in love with him, he was advised by Lanwerda the witch to dress up as a jewel merchant, head to the mountains and throw a rainbow to catch the mermaid’s attention. 

Unfortunately, Masaré forgot the part about dressing up as a merchant, and so the mermaid could clearly see it was the wizard. She disappeared into the lake, never to be seen again. 

The wizard, in his anger, tossed all the colourful pieces of the rainbow and the jewels into the water, creating the vivid colours of the lake that remain to this day.

Enjoying the view over Lago di Carezza from the viewing platform

Enjoying the view over Lago di Carezza from the viewing platform

Is visiting Lake of Carezza worth it?

Well, if you’re already in the area, I’d say yes, absolutely. It’s a very pretty, very scenic spot, so if you’re in and around Trentino exploring the Dolomites, then Lake Carezza is definitely worth a visit.

That said, the lake is a little bit out of the way when compared to the usual top sights in Italy, so I’m not sure it would be worth it if you’re really going out of your way just to see the lake.

For example, if you’re in Rome, Florence, Sicily or Milan, and you’re not planning to head this far, then I wouldn’t change your whole itinerary just to visit Carezza Lake.

Such a big detour would also be pretty expensive, massively upping your Italy trip budget just to see a lake. If you’re already in the area, definitely check it out, if you need to travel specifically for it, you can skip it.

Also, don’t forget that Lago di Carezza isn’t the only beautiful alpine lake that you’ll find in the Dolomites!

You could plan a wider Dolomites road trip, hitting up spots like Lake Welsperg, Lago di Braies and other iconic sights of the Dolomites.

Beautiful reflections at Lake Welsperg in Trentino, Italy

Beautiful reflections at Lake Welsperg in Trentino, Italy

Where to stay near Karersee Lake

The best places to stay near Carezza Lake ultimately depend on your wider Italy or Dolomites itinerary. The village of Carezza is super close to the lake, but there’s not much going on besides some ski slopes.

I visited Lago di Carezza from Vigo di Fassa, a nearby skiing town. If you want some city life, the biggest city nearby is Bolzano.

But if you’re visiting in summer or winter, for a hiking or skiing trip, you might be better off staying at one of the smaller towns, which are closed to the hiking trails and skiing slopes.

Some of the most popular towns in the area include Cavalese, Moena and Canazei.

Beautiful mountain views while hiking in Vigo di Fassa, Trentino

Beautiful mountain views while hiking in Vigo di Fassa, Trentino

What to pack for Lago di Carezza

Besides the usual travel essentials, a good travel insurance for Italy and whatever is already on your Italy packing list, there aren’t many specific items you need to pack to visit Lago di Carezza.

Your suitcase will obviously vary depending on whether you’re visiting Italy in summer or winter, but generally speaking, make sure to bring plenty of layers.

Mountains have very variable weather, that way you can add or remove layers depending on the weather. Make sure to pack a good pair of shoes, ideally with some level of waterproofing, if you plan on hiking.

You might also want to bring along a raincoat and an umbrella, especially if you’re visiting in autumn or winter.

Besides clothing, some useful accessories you can pack are a refillable water bottle, so you can refill at the water fountains you’ll find in alpine towns. Not only does this save money, but it saves on plastic too.

I always suggest also bringing a power bank, so that you can ensure your phone is always charged and ready to go, both to map your way to Carezza Lake and snap gorgeous photos of it!

Hiking at Rolle Pass in Trentino

Hiking at Rolle Pass in Trentino

Final thoughts on visiting Lake of Carezza

There you have it, the ultimate guide to visiting Lago di Carezza, or Karersee Lake, in Italy! Have you been to the Dolomites before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

The natural beauty of this alpine lake is simply stunning. The shimmering waters of Lago di Carezza, with its misty spruce forests, towering mountains behind it, and that perfect reflection, will leave you breathless.

After all, as many famous Italian quotes say, Italy has a habit of doing that!

As I already mentioned in this article I wouldn’t derail your Italy itinerary if you plan to visit Cinque Terre, Venice, Tuscany, Matera or any of the other famous destinations in the centre or south of Italy.

But if you’re going to be in the Dolomites, then it’s definitely worth adding Lago di Carezza to your bucket list!

I hope you found this guide useful in planning your visit to Carezza Lake. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below!

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Photo of Carezza Lake at sunset, with its perfect reflection and the towering mountains behind, and text overlay saying "Discover Lago di Carezza"