Itinerary: Lakes: Caldaro, Caldonazzo, Santa Giustina, Lavarone, Levico, Molveno, Tenno, Toblino, Tovel
Scenic drive among the most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites
The Dolomites are beautiful, scenic mountains that were declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2009. Nature has enriched these mountains with many amazing lakes that make them even more attractive. Men have contributed too: many scenic drives were built that winds among the Dolomites offering stunning views of this mountain group. Our tour will follow one of the most spectacular ones, the one that starts from Riva del Garda and skirts the most beautiful lakes such as Lake Caldaro, Lake Caldonazzo, Lake Giustina, Lake Lavarone, Lake Levico, Lake Molveno, Lake Tenno, Lake Toblino, and Lake Tovel.
Nestled in an enchanting Dolomite setting, its brilliant deep blue color sometimes turns into an intense green color reflecting the surrounding green Mediterranean vegetation and creating a fantastic play of lights. Furthermore, its shores and its surroundings are true oases of peace. Wine lovers will appreciate that Lake Caldaro is located in the heart of one of the most important wine areas of South Tyrol, where many precious wines are produced.
It is located in the Upper Valsugana and nestled between the hills covered with vineyards. After Lake Garda, Caldonazzo is the second largest body of water in Trentino, so you can water ski here. Thanks to its clear and warm waters, it is a very popular tourist destination.
Lake Santa Giustina (pic n°2):
It is the largest artificial basin in Trentino, barred by the imposing 152 meters high Santa Giustina dam. Near the dam, the gorge formed by the lake is crossed by a characteristic panoramic bridge where the SS43 national road passes. The name Santa Giustina is coming from the evocative hermitage of the same name located in a rocky hollow at the foot of the dam, you can reach it by walking following a path in the woods. On the right side of the lake, you can admire the imposing Castle of Cles.
Lake Lavarone (pic n°5):
It is a small and picturesque lake located in the center of the plateau of the same name and it is also the oldest one, in the entire Alps. Thanks to its mild climate, the clear waters, and the spectacular alpine environment it is a great tourist attraction. Many people have chosen this place over the years such as Sigmund Freud, who loved to relax here along its banks.
Lake Levico (pic n°6):
It is surrounded by dense woods, the color of its water changes according to the seasons from emerald green to rusty, it features a very characteristic shape that is similar to a Norwegian fjord. In addition to its beauty, the lake is famous for its natural spas and for the romantic "fishermen's road" which follows the banks of the lake, allowing relaxing walks.
Lake Molveno (pic n°4):
It is located between the spectacular Dolomite groups of Brenta and Paganella. The village of Molveno and the popular beaches are located on the north side of the lake. Walking along the shores you can see ancient forts from the Napoleonic era and, after passing the Napoleon bridge, you can also admire a beautiful waterfall.
Lake Tenno (pic n°3):
It is nestled in the greenery of the Mediterranean vegetation and is characterized by an intense turquoise color and a delightful islet that stands in the center. Around the lake, there are many medieval villages such as Tenno with its charming historic center and stone-paved alleys. The villages of Frapporta and that of Canale di Tenno are just as suggestive as the one before, they are two gems survived intact since the Middle Ages.
Lake Toblino (pic n°1):
It is located in the heart of the Valle dei Laghi (Lakes's Valley), connected by a narrow channel to the lake Santa Massenza. On the left side, a small peninsula enters the lake where the Castle of Toblino stands: it is a very romantic and highly photographed place. In the nearby village of Tione, is located the ancient church of Madonna del Carmine with a beautiful baroque altar of high artistic value.
Lake Tovel (central pic):
It is located in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites and until a few decades ago it was called "Lake of Blood" for the sudden coloring of the waters in red very similar to blood. This was probably caused because of some strange environmental changes that affected the algae or protozoa reproductions. Today this phenomenon does not happen (or only very slightly) as in the past, but photographs of the past are still there to testify it. Anyway, Lake Tovel whether turquoise or blood-colored is still one of the most spectacular lakes in the Dolomites and South Tyrol.
Departure: Riva del Garda
Drive: 316 km, about 6 hours, 31 minutes
Some pictures of the lakes in the Dolomites:
Lago di Toblino (pic n°1); Lago di Santa Giustina (pic n°2); Lago di Tenno (pic n°3); Lago di Molveno (pic n°4); Lago di Lavarone (pic n°5); Lago di Levico (pic n°6); Lake Tovel (central pic);