Lakes in winter
10 walks to discover the winter charm of lakes
Trentino is home to almost 300 lakes, small and large, located in the heart of the mountains. They are perfect for a winter walk, with or without snowshoes. You may have visited the lakes in the summer, but in the cold months they take on a whole new look, one that brings fairy tales to mind.
In this article, we have selected 10 lakes for 10 easy walks to do in winter. The lakes we selected are either in the proximity of inhabited centres or surrounded by woods and meadows, in places that have a lot to tell: like Valle dei Laghi, dotted with cellars, Val di Ledro, with its Ledro Land Art, an open-air art gallery to discover even in winter, the Natural Parks of Paneveggio and Adamello Brenta, biodiversity treasures, or Val di Cembra, where you can photograph terraced vineyards wrapped in snow.
It is impossible not to mention the lakes in the Garda area of Trentino, where the vegetation and temperatures have the atmosphere of the Mediterranean, and the Valsugana area, with its famous lakes and many Christmas markets all within striking distance. To cap it all, the lakes set among the woods of the Pinè Plateau offer a winter of sport and nature.
Enjoy your walks!
Lake Garda is the largest and most visited lake in Italy, a paradise for those who enjoy sport both on water and on land. With its mild temperatures, it is the ideal destination for a winter hike or a walk around the villages without fearing the cold. Then, treat yourself to delicate, gourmet flavours at the table, perhaps after an afternoon spent browsing the Christmas markets!
Surrounded by mountains, woods and vineyards, Lake Toblino is a gem you come across as you flow from Trento, towards Lake Garda. The Castle, which bears the name of the lake, is a magnificent sixteenth-century fortress, always visible along the trail that skirts only one shore of the lake.
A 10-minute drive from Riva del Garda, Lake Ledro is one of Trentino’s cleanest lakes. It has a charming long promenade that runs along its entire perimeter. On the shore towards Molina di Ledro, you can visit Europe’s most important pile-dwelling site: the Stilt House Museum is closed in winter, but the pile-dwellings from the Bronze Age are clearly visible.
Lake Calaita, in the Paneveggio Natural Park, is a gem to be discovered in every season. In winter, motionless and silent, it is an extraordinary balcony over the snow-covered Pale. Easily accessible by car following the signs to Passo della Gobbera, the road remains open even in winter.
Labelled the jewel of Parco Naturale Adamello Brenta, Lake Molveno with its clear and deep blue water offers mirror-like reflections of the Dolomites peaks that surround it. A postcard scene of pristine natural beauty, particularly fascinating in winter.
Lake Santo, in Val di Cembra, is a small body of water, which was once the subject of some watercolors by painter Albrecht Dürer. It can be easily reached by car, or by following the trail that starts from the village of Cembra. When it freezes in winter, Lake Santo is an underwater world for ice divers to explore.
Lake Serraia and the Piazze lake
At 974 metres above sea level, on a vast plain surrounded by forests, reeds and meadows, lies Lake Serraia. Its perimeter is marked by a convenient path that connects it to the plateau’s other lake, the Piazze lake. These lakes are the ideal place to spend a day immersed in nature, enjoying sports or simply relaxing on its shores.
Lake Levico is the second largest lake in Valsugana and one of the warmest lakes in Southern Europe. On the eastern shore of the lake is the village of Levico Terme where, in winter, you can visit the famous Christmas markets in the beautiful Asburgico Park. The area is also popular for its spa holidays and many nature walks.
Lake Caldonazzo is the largest body of water in Valsugana and the largest lake entirely within Trentino’s borders! The beaches of Lake Caldonazzo have been awarded the FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education) Blue Flag, an international award that recognises environmentally sustainable waters and policies. The shores of the lake also have the Valsugana cycle path, perfect for outings even in winter!
With its turquoise waters, Lake Tenno is a feast for the eyes all year round. Even in winter, after walking along its banks, visitors can’t miss out on exploring the surrounding area, with its villages and cuisine. The Christmas market in Canale di Tenno is a must-see, set within one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, in an atmosphere suspended in time.