One Of Italy's Best Lakes Is A Lesser-Known Paradise Of Clear Water And Pristine Shorelines

Northern Italy is dotted with idyllic lakes, from the ritzy Lake Como and Lake Maggiore to off the beaten path options like Lake Orta. Tucked in the shadow of the mighty Brenta Dolomites in the Italian Alps, is a secluded body of water that you may have never even heard of: Lake Molveno. 

Advertisement

Although it might not make the list of must-see European getaways, Lake Molveno is a quiet slice of paradise, sandwiched between the towering peaks of Cima Tosa and Cima Paganella. Nestled near the mid-sized city of Trento, near the border of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria, this scenic destination has its own village, situated at the northern end of the lake itself. Visitors will find everything they could want from a holiday in the mountains, from Refugio hikes to lakefront terrazas and sandy beaches to lay out on. Take part in fun water activities like paddleboarding or boating, live out your Italian foodie fantasies at the tiny osteria's back in the center of town, or circumnavigate the lake on two wheels.

Advertisement

While everyone else is flocking to the crowded and traffic-choked alleyways of Lake Como, you can rest easy knowing that you've found one of the beautiful, yet lesser visited corners of Italy.

Swimming and things to do at Lake Molveno

Swimming is one of the best things to do at Lake Molveno, as long, sandy beaches near town make for a great spot to wade into the water. Watersport rentals including kayaks, SUP's, paddle boats, and even electric-powered boats are available at several different areas around the lake.

Advertisement

For those who are looking for an easier hike, you can walk (or bike) around the entire lake within three hours. It's not for the faint of heart at 7 miles long (11 km), but it's a mostly flat stroll and provides gorgeous views with several stops to pop in for a drink. For a bird's eye view of this peak-wrapped lake, take the cable car up the mountain and you'll land at the ski resort of Pradel in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park. Of course, you could also hike up to Rifugio La Montanara where your efforts will be rewarded with fresh made pasta and a glass of wine. Paragliding is another favorite activity at Lake Molveno, especially from spring to fall as the Ora del Garda winds blow through the valley. 

Advertisement

Finally, you can't leave Lake Molveno without exploring the village a bit. This chalet-bedecked enclave at the northern end of Lake Molveno is worthy of a stroll or two on its own and offers up plenty of charming accommodation options. Pop in to Osteria del Maso or Imperia for delicious Trentino specialties like marinated char and gorgonzola polenta.

Getting to Lake Molveno, Italy

Reaching Lake Molveno is no walk in the park. You'll have to put in the work to visit this pristine alpine watering hole. Visitors planning how to get to Lake Molveno should fly in to either Verona or Milan, the (much) larger airport of the two. From either city you'll then take a train to the town of Trento, just to the east of the lake, and then a bus to the city of Molveno. While this isn't a difficult process, it is a bit time-consuming.

Advertisement

If you want to forgo taking multiple types of public transportation and make your way to the lake lickity split, renting a car is a much easier mode of transport and it gives you the ability to make day trips. Once you arrive in Lake Molveno, you can easily spend a day exploring. The real magic comes after the few tourists leave and all that's left are locals and the few visitors who decide to spend the night in this tranquil mountain escape. This is just one of many reasons why Lake Molveno remains one of the most well-kept European travel secrets.

Your accommodation options range from agrotourismos on the outskirts of town to alpine lodges and lakefront mansions. Stay at the Feeling Hotel Fontanella, situated right on the lake, for stunning views or shack up at Agriturismo Ai Castioni to be fully immersed in Italian hospitality.

Advertisement

Recommended

Advertisement