A must-go place close to Meran is Lago di Vernago, just a 50 minutes car drive away from Meran. There are not many things to do at lago di Vernago, nevertheless, it is worth a visit. The lake is stunning turquoise blue water reservoir located in Schnalstal, South Tyrol in Italy. High above sea level at 1689 meters this lake shines in many shades of blue throughout the day. Actually, it serves to generate electricity but it draws people who visit South Tyrol for its beautiful scenery within the mountains.
Next to the lake the little village Naturns is located. It offers view restaurant but nothing special worth to mention.
The lake has a dramatic history. When building up the 65 m high dam various farms and houses of the village were flooded and even the church of the village is deep down on the ground of the lake now. When the water of the lake is very low you can even glimpse the church spire. Unfortunately, during my visit, it was not visible. So which things to do at Lake Vernago?
Things to do at lago di Vernago: Walk around the lake
You can have a walk around the beautiful lake where you will cross a pending bridge, pass by at a little waterfall and lamas, always with a great view on the lake and the surrounding mountains of Val Senales. The walk is very easy and relaxed. Take a pic-nic and make yourself comfortable at any place of your choice in the grass of the banks of the lake. You can easily spend an afternoon here. Unfortunately swimming is not allowed.
When arriving at the lake look for the sign „Seerundgang“ which means walk around the lake. It is very easy to find and there is just one way leading around the lake. So, these are already all things to do at Lake Vernago as the village is very small. But there are some more interesting places in the surrounding.
Things to do at Lago di Vernago: Visit Tisenjoch
Close to the lake is another very special place: Tisenjoch. Never heard about it? What?! Maybe if I tell you that this is the place where famous Ötzi was found it rings a bell. There is an archaeological path which leads you to a hut called Similaunhütte located 3000 meters above sea level. After passing this hut you will arrive at the famous place where Ötzi was found in the 1990s. Find a description of the whole hike here.
Things to do at Lago di Vernago: Join the local shepherds’ celebration
Another highlight happens in autumn in Naturns. It is a hundreds of years old custom when the shepherds bring their sheep down to the valley after a refreshing summer in the mountains. They are welcomed by a big celebration of the whole village. Unfortunately, I haven’t been part of this festivity yet but experiencing this spectacle is definitely on my bucket list.
So, I guess you see that there are not many things to do at Lake Vernago – at least not directly in the village. However, this beautiful place is located in South Tyrol, which is a paradise for all hiking, nature and outdoor fans and I’m sure you can plan a stop here on your trip through this beautiful area of Italy. See also my favourite lakes and waterfalls in South Tyrol in this blog post.
How to get to Lake Vernago?
The village Naturns is the place to enter the lake and the dam as well as the walk around the lake. Just right when you entered the village by car there is a little parking on the left side directly at the lake.
And don’t forget: Never stop exploring! Life happens outside.