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Hiking Lago di Sorapis: The Most Gorgeous Lake in the Dolomites

  • Post last modified:December 27, 2023
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  • Post category:Europe / Guides

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While most people consider Lago di Braies to be the most beautiful lake in the world, we disagree. After going to Lago di Sorapis, we have decided it is definitely our favorite lake in the Dolomites, and in all of Italy.


The journey to get to Lago di Sorapis is not nearly as easy as the other lakes in the area, which is why we're here to share all the details for getting to this epic place.


In this guide we're going to share everything you need to know for experiencing Lago di Sorapis, from the best time to go, to how the journey will look step-by-step. So without further ado, let's jump right in!

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Where is Lago di Sorapis?

Lago di Sorapis is located in the Italian Dolomites, just outside of Cortina d'Ampezzo. It is under 9 km east of Cortina d'Ampezzo, and the drive is just under 15 minutes away.

Where is Lago di Sorapis in Italy?

Lago di Sorapis is located in the Dolomites, northern Italy.


How to Get to Lago di Sorapis

Now that you know where Lago di Sorapis is, let's show you exactly how to get there.


Can I Drive to Lake Sorapis?

The only way to get to Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites is by hiking. If you are driving, you can park your car right across from the start of the trailhead, which is marked on Google Maps as "Lago di Sorapis Hike Start Point", also known as Tre Croci. For a reference point, it is just past B&B Hotel Passo Tre Croci Cortina.

where is Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites?

The hike for Lago di Sorapis starts off the side of one of the main roads.

When you arrive you'll find a sign for the hiking trail, as well as a big green field with cows you'll be passing through.


Here is what the start of the trail will look like:

Lago di Sorapis trailhead
Lago di Sorapis trailhead
cows at the Lago di Sorapis trailhead
Lago di Sorapis trailhead map

How to Get from Cortina to Lago di Sorapis

There is bus (#30) that goes from Cortina d'Ampezzo to the start of the trailheads of Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Cadini di Misurina. The trailhead for Lago di Sorapis starts right off the side of the road that goes there, so you can just request the driver to stop at the trailhead. It is about 15 minutes away from Cortina d'Ampezzo for reference.


How Long Does it Take to Hike Lago di Sorapis?

It takes around 2 hours to get to Lago di Sorapis, and a bit less (around an hour and 45 minutes) to hike down.


How Hard is the Hike to Lago di Sorapis?

The hike to Lago di Sorapis was definitely a bit demanding. There were areas that were very rocky, and an area where you have to avoid a small waterfall coming down so you don't get all wet.


Overall though, it certainly isn't an extremely difficult hike, and can be done by those in moderately good shape. It took us 2 hours to get there, and we were going at a pretty decent pace.


Despite being long, the hike is absolutely gorgeous, making it much less painful to do. The key is to go super early though, so you don't have a really crowded trail (there are parts that are a bit narrow).

Lago di Sorapis trail in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis trail in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis, the Dolomites in Italy

The hike to Lago di Sorapis is very scenic, making it very enjoyable.

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How Do I Hike to Lago di Sorapis?

Now that you know where the hike to Lago di Sorapis starts, here is what the entire hike will look like.


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hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites
hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites
hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites

As we showed above, the trail starts by going through a grass area, and the trail is very flat. The trail is pretty direct, and there is just one area that we got confused a bit (we were in the dark). This is where the trail forks. If you go to the right there is a cave, and an area where it's clear a lot of people used the area to go to the bathroom. Make sure to stay left, and the trail will easily lead you.

hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites

This is where you will fork left.

You'll come across an area where there is a little waterfall, and you'll have to navigate around the water. The views start to open, and you'll see gorgeous mountains and greenery in the back. After this the trail continues for a while slowly going up, and with some, but not a ton of uneven terrain.


hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites
hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites
hiking Lago do Sorapis in the Dolomites

The sun started to rise and we found ourselves in one of our favorite parts of the hike. The views start to open up, and we found ourselves above the clouds! We even found a tiny cave where we were able to stop and get a cool perspective of the scenery around us.


hiking Lago di Sorapis at sunrise
hiking Lago di Sorapis at sunrise
hiking Lago di Sorapis at sunrise

The views with sunrise on the way to Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy

At this point it starts to get a bit more narrow, and you'll find a few sets of stairs, as well as wire hand rails to assist you along the way. Always stay to the right, and watch your step.

stairs along the hike to Lago di Sorapis
stairs along the hike to Lago di Sorapis
stairs along the hike to Lago di Sorapis

There are several areas of stairs towards the end of the hike.

You'll finally reach an area where everything flattens out, and you'll see a whole bunch of signs. This means you are just a few minutes away! If you go to the left you'll head to the refuge and if you continue straight you'll be at the lake in just a few minutes!

signs for Lago di Sorapis

When you reach these signs you are just a few minutes away.


Enjoying Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy

You've made it to the lake! So now what? Here is what you can expect, and how to enjoy your time at Lago di Sorapis.


Can You Swim in Lago Sorapis?

Lago di Sorapis, (as well as the other famous lakes like Lago di Carezzo and Lago di Braies) are all off limits when it comes to swimming. This is because they are protected areas, and while there may not be anyone really regulating it, it is definitely prohibited.


signs for Lago di Sorapis

While you can't swim, and there aren't boat rentals like Lago di Braies, Lago di Sorapis offers seriously stunning views, and is beautiful enough to simply enjoy walking around and taking in the different angles.


Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis, the Dolomites in Italy

Lago di Sorapis can be enjoyed at all different angles.

You can walk to the right around to the other side, or you can simply hop on the rocks to take in the views and get some unbelievable pictures.


Drones are allowed here, so we definitely suggest bringing yours if you have one!


Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy
Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites, Italy
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Amenities at Lago di Sorapis

The trail to Lago di Sorapis doesn't have any amenities at all, so we definitely suggest using the bathroom beforehand, as it is a long hike.


Right next to the lake there is a refuge (Refugio Vandelli), where you can use the bathroom, have a meal, or even stay the night!

refuge at Lago di Sorapis
refuge at Lago di Sorapis in the Dolomites

There is a refuge next to the lake where you can stay or have a meal.

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