You may probably have heard of the wonderful Lago di Sorapis which is less known than the Lago di Braies, but it is for me one of the most beautiful lakes in the Italian Dolomites. I wanted absolutely to get there when we were in the Dolomites and do the amazing hike to this lake. And it was my favorite place in the Dolomites! The blue color of the water is absolutely incredible and I swear it is even bluer in reality! And the recognizable Dolomites mountains that surround this place are stunning. If you are visiting the Dolomites, here is why you should add this hike on your itinerary 😉 Read also our perfect Italy road trip itinerary!
The Lago di Sorapis
The beautiful Lago di Sorapis is located only 9 kilometers from the town. Its huge perpendicular faces form part os the mountainous backdrop to the town of Cortina. The limestone Dolomites mountains formations which are more irregular and sharp-edged peaks are part of the Eastern Alps. The path to the Lago di Sorapis starts at Passo Tre Coci and continues to the lake. There are three glaciers on the mountains, the Lago di Sorapis is a glacial lake at an elevation 1925 meters (6316 ft).
This lake was sincerely the most beautiful lake we have visited. We prefered the Lago di Sorapis than the Lago di Braies. First of all, because we find it more beautiful but also because the hike was amazing and for more reasons that you can read here on our Lago di Braies post.
When is the best time of the year to visit the Lago di Sorapis?
As I discovered, the best time to visit Lago di Sorapis is during spring and summer when the lake is at its fullest. So, if you are planning to visit this lake, you should come between April and September. We have been there at the end of August and it was perfect! However, it is really crowded during July and august but tourists arrive around 9 am.
How to get there?
Contrary to the Lago di braies, you can not park your car directly in front of the lake. You need to park at the beginning of the hiking trail and do a 2 hours hike to get there! You can see on the map at the end of the road (in blue) this is where you have to park. The grey points are the hike to the lake.
The entrance is totally free. It was exactly 13 km of hike (go and back) but it was totally worth it! It took us 2 hours to get there and 1h45 to go back. First of all, we found the hike incredible, it was beautiful all along the way, the view on the mountains took my breath away! You will walk through a forest and then trought mountains.
Is the hike difficult?
Also, when we arrived we discovered a hidden gem! It was even more beautiful than we could imagine! The lake was even bluer than I could imagine! And the Dolomites mountains in the background are incredible. This place is incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
Concerning the difficulty, I would say honestly it is medium. You still need a good physical condition to walk for 4 hours at the total. If you are afraid of the heights, that can be a little bit hard at some points but if it not dangerous. Some parts have small passages but there is always a rope to hold.
Travel tip: bring a gourd with water, something to snack, a jacket, and good shoes! And don’t forget your camera 😉
What is the best time of the day to get there?
Honestly, the best time of the day to visit the Lago di Sorapis is for sunrise! Indeed, we woke up at 5:00 to be there around 7:30 and we were not disappointed! We were the first ones so we had the chance to have this place just for ourselves. Tourists arrive only around 9 am. So, if you come early, you can have this place for 1 or 2 hours just for yourself!
When we arrived after two hours to this magical lake we were totally in awe! The water was so blue it was unreal. If you are asking yourself how this can be so blue, it’s because it’s a glacial lake!
Travel tip: also, if you want to take photos at the lake, the sunrise is the best moment to create great photos! You can read our post about 10 tips to improve your travel photos!
Is it allowed to swim in the lake?
Unfortunately, you can not swim there, it’s forbidden because this lake is protected by the UNESCO. Even in summer, you are not allowed to swim. So you can just sit there and admire the beauty of this place! Or you can also walk around the lake to see it from different angles 😉
Where to stay in the Dolomites?
The Dolomites are huge, more than 15 000m2, so there are many beautiful hotels and refuges to stay. It is depending on which places you want to visit. Personally, we wanted to visit the Lago di Braies and the Lago di Sorapis. So it was perfect for us to stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo. We were only 15 minutes driving from the Lago di Sorapis and 50 minutes from the Lago di Braies. Honestly, the ratio quality-price is not so good in the Dolomites. The hotels are quite expensive and not always worth it.
But there are several small hotels and refuges that are really nice. We managed to find a good hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo for 120€ per night. If you book in advance you should manage to find a good accommodation at a better price!
Is it allowed to sleep in a tent?
No, unfortunately, it is not allowed to bring a tent and sleep inside as the lake is protected by UNESCO. When we went there we saw someone who was sleeping in a tent but is it not recommended, you can sleep in the refuge near the lake, it is called Alfonso refuge.
Are you planning to visit the Dolomites and the Lago di Sorapis?
If you are planning to visit the Lago di Sorapis, bring a jacket for the hike, even during summer! The mornings in the Dolomites are quite cold! Also, you should get there early, you will have this place just for yourself! 😉