Between the white peaks of the Dolomites and the Paganella Massif, within protected by the UNESCO Adamello Brenta Nature Park and away from mass tourism, delights with magnificent views of one of the most beautiful lakes of Italy. One hundred years ago, the poet Antonio Fogazzaro called this place a noble pearl hidden in a valuable treasure chest. Come and see Lake Molveno, located in the western part of the Trentino region.
Lake Molveno at the foot of the Brenta Dolomites
Located at an altitude of 864 m and having over 3 km² of a postglacial surface, Lake Molveno is the largest reservoir lokated in Italian mountains and also one of the largest in the Alps, taking into account the lakes located above 800 m above sea level. Long at 8 km and deep at 120 m is powered by exceptionally clear waters flowing down from the Adamello Brenta Nature Park. One river flows out of the lake – Rio Lambin – joining the Sarca river, eventually flowing into Lake Garda. There is only one small town with the same name on Lake Molveno. On most photos, you’ll see a green shade of water, but in the main picture, the lake’s mirror is blue. How is this possible? The color probably depends on the angle of the sun’s rays. I took pictures from above before noon, photos from the lake and from the city were made after 15.00. What’s more, on Lake Molveno I was twice, each time in September and in the article you’ll see photos from both stays and also photos and movie from the drone.
Lake Molveno recognized the most beautiful lake in Italy
Molveno, surrounded by forests and the crown of white, sharp peaks of the Brenta Dolomites, can boast of being one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. But this isn’t the only and insufficient reason why the Italian travel club Legambiente e Touring Club, preparing the annual guide “Il mare più bello” (“The Most Beautiful Sea”), has indicated it to its readers as a perfect place to relax. Very high care for the natural environment, high quality of the tourist offer, pristine water, beaches, richness of fauna and flora in the immediate area, high quality of local cuisine and excellent infrastructure have made Lake Molveno several years in a row considered the most beautiful water of the Apennine Peninsula, with the “5 Vele” mark (5 sails) and the Orange Flag badge. Molveno is the next lake after Lake Braies and Lake Tenno, a charming reservoir surrounded by mountains, which I describe on the blog. The previous two lakes have gained enormous popularity in Poland, which makes me very happy. They were launched not only by my readers but also by other bloggers. I hope that in the case of Molveno it will be similar.
Getting to Molveno takes time
Looking at the map, you can think that Molveno is a nice stop on the highway, just take the exit and you will be in place in a few minutes. Nothing could be more wrong. To reach the town of Molveno from the north you have to overcome a very curving and climbing road uphill. You need an hour and only assuming there will be no surprises along the way. Thirty-five minutes calculated by the Google Maps is a misunderstanding. Similarly, access from the southern side – from the northern Garda – takes time. Here, you need an hour and a half. Access to Sarche is quite fast and flat, the climbing begins after turning into the SS237. If you spend a long time over the Garda or it’s your next trip to the biggest Italian lake and you’re looking for ideas for new places to jump out for a day, Lake Molveno will be a perfect idea. If you only have half a day, Lake Tenno and the medieval village of Canale di Tenno will be better.
Access to Molveno from the motorway side
Directions to Molveno from Torbole sul Garda
What to see in the town of Molveno?
In the small town of Molveno, you must see the place where the mountain river Rio Masso flows into the lake. It’s there – at the outlet itself – a port is located where you can rent a boat, canoe or pedal boat. There’re also two large, rocky beaches (necessary take with you special shoes), considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Trentino, a playground for children and a park. Right next to the river, there’s a paid parking on the principle of a parking zone (map below).
The small old town and the small church of Chiesa Parrocchiale San Carlo Borromeo have a typical alpine style. Molveno is an exclusive place. Prices in hotels and restaurants are quite high, cheaper accommodation offers beautifully located Camping Beach Lake of Molveno, possessing bungalows overlooking the white peaks of the Brenta Dolomites. I’d also like to add that due to the high location and depth of the lake, the water temperature doesn’t even exceed – 21 ° C. You can come to the lake with a dog, with the exception of a fragment at the yacht port, where it’s forbidden to walk the quadrupeds. Molveno – due to the location away from popular tourist attractions – is a perfect place for those seeking peace and nature attractions.
Viewpoints on Lake Molveno
The most beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains can be admired in several places:
A lay-by halfway along the lake
A lay-by before entering the town
A footbridge in town on the Rio Masso River
Cable car carriage
Molveno cable car – La Montanara refuge
View from the Molveno – Pradel carriage
The biggest attraction of Molveno is the cable car and next then the chairlift to the Rifugio La Montanara. The starting point of the queue I marked on the map above. You should get there, the car can be parked in the parking lot right next to the station. It’s not big, so in the high season, there may be problems finding a free space. The stop is paid, and the ticket for entering the queue doesn’t exempt from the purchase of an additional ticket for a stopover. The parking zone also applies here. The building of the cable car station is modern and well-organized, from the level of the car park you can enter the ticket office with a glass elevator. On the first section (Molveno – Pradel) small gondolas are transporting 1 367 m above sea level. and at the same time 500 above the surface of Lake Molveno. From the carriage windows, there are stunning views of the lake. Then you can go on foot passing the Malga Tovre refuge or go to the chairlift station on the right-hand side. Two-seater chairs slowly move upwards to 1,600 m above sea level. to the refuge La Montanara. You can take your dog to both the gondola and the chair without the slightest problem and buy an additional ticket.
Pradel Intermediate Station and attractions for children
Malga Tovre chalet seen from the chairlift
The Brenta Dolomites seen from the chair lift
Artur goes with Gucia
- Molveno – Pradel 8:30-12:45 and 14:00-17:45
- Pradel – La Montanara 8:45-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
Current queue hours can be checked here (at the time of posting no information about the next season).
Refuge La Montanara, or where to eat well in Molveno
All you have to do is walk about 300 m from the top station of the chair lift to reach La Montanara. Listen, how beautiful it is! The raw peaks of the Brenta Dolomites, which surround Lake Molveno, here are clearly visible, almost at your fingertips. The glade in front of the refuge offers a playground for children, benches and a viewing point with the description of individual peaks. The terrace of the chalet with restaurant tables overlooks this clearing, so you can eat without losing sight of fantastic panoramas. Eat well, with a beautiful view, tasty, but also quite expensive, especially considering the small portions. Still, it’s definitely worth it, because I won’t forget this experience for a long time. The sun warmed up quite well, although the temperature did not allow to take off the autumn jacket. The menu includes forest mushrooms, game, dishes with herbs. Tasty smells, friendly service.
Gnocchi with wild herbs topped with rustic butter
Warm rolls straight from the oven
Ice cream with forest fruits at the end
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° 📌 Długo nie zapomnę tego obiadu 😍 Gnocchi z dzikimi ziołami polane wiejskim masłem, do tego świeże bułeczki i widok na Dolomiti di Brenta. Takie atrakcje w schronisku La Montanara, powyżej Lago di Molveno 💙. 🌍 @visitdolomitipaganella, Trentino, Italia ° 📷 @italia_by_natalia 📆 September 2018 Tag #italiabynatalia 💻 www.italia-by-natalia.pl 💻 www.italia-by-natalia.pl/en 📱Facebook.com/italiabynatalia ° #molveno #paganella #visittrentino #ig_italia #vivo_italia #besttrentinopics #dolomitidibrenta #italiancousine #italiainunoscatto #bellaitaliaofficial #topitalyofficial #top_italia_photo #italia_super_pics #prettylittleitaly #włochy #travelstory #best_italiansites #italianlandscapes #awsomeitaly #loves_united_italy #theitalybest #travelitaly #trentinodavivere #new_photoitalia #don_in_italy #trentinodascoprire #traveltrends #amazingitaly #passionedolomiti
In the refuge, of course, you can stay for the night, to start in the morning on one of the beautiful trails that have their beginning here. One of them is trekking to the Rifugio Croz dell’Altissimo shelter at an altitude of 1480 m, which is slightly lower than there is La Montanara, but not lower towards Molveno, and towards these beautiful white peaks. Apparently, an hour is enough to get there. I learned by experience that the transition time given on these boards is probably only for people with a high form, which do not take photos and breaks for even a sip of water on the way. For those willing to go on such a trip, I give you the Rifugio Croz dell’Altissimo hostel website, and here the La Montanara hostel website.
Travel plan for the Dolomites and Trentino
Dear all, if you’re dreaming about summer holidays in Trentino, consisting of easy and at the same time very panoramic trekking routes, cable cars, beautiful views, relaxation in thermals, good cuisine and checked accommodation, and you do not have enough information to organize such a trip then you can report to me. Information on the summer attractions of Trentino will appear on the blog, but before I describe everything that I have seen and experienced during an intensive, two and a half week-long tour of the region, many more months will pass. I arrange programs to visit the best-known parts of Italy, mainly Sicily, Tuscany, Lake Garda, and Trentino. My offer is available here.
Lake Molveno from a bird’s eye view. Italia from the drone
Below I present you another movie from the original project Italia from the drone. An interactive map with links to all of the bird’s-eye pictures in Italy can be found by clicking here.
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All the best
The article was created in cooperation with the Trentino Region