The lakes in Veneto are a great destination for a day trip or a longer holiday in the North of Italy.
Veneto is a Northern Italian region that has been generously gifted by nature in many different ways.
From the rugged Dolomites to numerous hilly groups, from fertile plains to the beautiful Adriatic seaside, here you are never short of a stunning view to enjoy or an exciting destination to explore. One of the best things in the Veneto though are the region’s many lakes!
From tiny specks to huge bodies of water, from lakes that have harboured pre-historic civilisations to lakes that are perfect for sunbathing and boating, you will find the full breadth and range of lakes in Veneto, Italy to really make your holiday here the stuff that travel memories are made of. Plus, a large portion of Lago di Garda – Italy’s largest lake – is within Veneto’s confines!
Many of Veneto’s lakes are in close proximity to one another. So, you can easily visit several lakes here within a short amount of time. This way you can enjoy varied natural settings and unique local sights with short travel times.
Even better, many of the lakes in Veneto, Italy are near the region’s main cities and towns of interest. Lake Fimon, for example, is less than 30 mins away from the beautiful city of Vicenza which is famous for its Palladian architecture. Lake Santa Croce is just over 20 mins away from the city of Belluno. Lake Garda is a short train or bus ride away from Verona and it’s easily reachable from Venice, Padua, and Vicenza, too.
I loved exploring both Veneto and its lakes during my six years of living in Italy. We often took day trips to Veneto’s lakes and loved nothing more than spending a few days on the shores of Lake Garda. Visiting the lakes in Veneto offered us a beautiful disconnect from daily life, an opportunity to be close to nature, and in summer – a refreshing swim.
So, in this blog post today, I want to share with you over 20 of the most beautiful and/or interesting lakes to see for yourself in Veneto, Italy. While there is a great number of lakes here, I have covered the ones I have personally visited and spent time at. You will see that it’s a good selection of different types of lakes to fit any travel preference that you may have.
For ease of browsing, I have grouped these lakes in Veneto in the following six categories: Lake Garda (Italy’s largest lake deserves its own category!), lakes with a prehistoric link, artificial lakes, small lakes, pools and small waters, and lakes in nature oases and reserves.
Bear in mind that several of the lakes below can fall under more than one category. So, keep an open mind. The categories are just to make my blog post better structured and to help you visually when you scroll through it.
I hope that the information and the photos on this page will inspire you to travel and discover Veneto’s lakes for yourself. They have so much to offer in terms of lush nature, great activities, curious stories, and beautiful views.
Now, let’s start!
Gorgeous Lakes in Veneto, Italy You Have to See for Yourself (With Map and Useful Details)
1. Lake Garda in Veneto, Italy
Lago di Garda is Italy’s largest lake. Most of its southern and eastern shores are within the territory of Veneto. For me, this stretch of the lake is home to the prettiest towns. From Peschiera del Garda and Lazise to Torri del Benaco and Malcesine, they are like pearls in a precious necklace curving along the lake’s shores.
In addition, Veneto’s portion of Italy’s largest lake stands out with its stunning natural features and multilayered history. From cute little beaches to olive groves, from prehistoric rock inscriptions to proud medieval castles, there is so much to see and do here. Plus, it’s on this side of Lake Garda that you will find:
- Aril – Italy’s shortest river, and
- Monte Baldo – the tall rugged mountain group that is known as the Garden of Europe for the huge variety of plants that grow here. A state-of-the-art cable car connects the lakefront town of Malcesine to Monte Baldo’s summit.
Come to Veneto’s corner of Lake Garda in winter for some of the cutest Christmas markets in the North of Italy. Visit in summer for hundreds of hiking, biking, windsurfing, and boating opportunities.
Click here for more information:
Lake Garda, Italy: Best 12 Towns, Lake Garda with Kids, Best Ways to Travel around Lake Garda, Best Airports for Lake Garda, Torri del Benaco, Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge, Lake Garda Beaches, Rocca di Garda, Campo di Brenzone, Madonna della Corona
2. Lakes with a Prehistoric Link in Veneto, Italy
Veneto is a land with a millennial history. Its lakes are some of the best places to learn more about the prehistoric communities that flourished here. Archaeological excavations have unearthed many curious artefacts allowing us to understand better how people lived here many centuries ago.
Three of the most interesting lakes in Veneto, Italy from this point of view are:
- Lake Fimon (pictured above) – this is the oldest lake in Northern Italy. At 35,000 years of age, it precedes the formation of Lake Garda. In fact, the experts state that only the volcanic lakes of Central Italy are older than this small lake where water lilies grow and swans nest. You will find Lake Fimon in the heart of the lush Berici Hills. It is a short drive away from the city of Vicenza. Archaeological excavations near the lake have confirmed the existence of human settlements there in the Neolithic and the Bronze Ages. Click here for more details about Lake Fimon and what to do there.
- Revine Lakes – these are two beautiful pre-alpine lakes. They are a short drive away from the pretty towns of Conegliano and Vittorio Veneto in the Province of Treviso. The lakes are individually known as Lake of Santa Maria and Lake Lago. People have been living on the shores of the lakes since the Copper and the Bronze Ages. Nowadays, on the western shores of Lake Lago you can visit Livelet – a didactic archaeological park with recreated prehistoric pile dwellings.
- Lagole’ – this is an archaeological and nature reserve with thermal springs and tiny lakes. The most beautiful of them is Laghetto delle Tose. You will find Lagole’ right next to the large artificial Lake of Centro Cadore’. It’s in the Province of Belluno in the Veneto’s portion of the Dolomites. Over two and a half millennia ago, Lagole’ was the centre of an important religious cult celebrating the therapeutic properties of the local thermal waters. Among the artefacts discovered here are bronze figurines which nowadays can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of the nearby town of Pieve di Cadore’.
3. Artificial Lakes in Veneto, Italy
Veneto is dotted with many beautiful natural lakes like Lake Garda and Lake Fimon. I have mentioned several other natural lakes in Veneto, Italy under the different categories in this blog post. At the same time, there are also many artificial or semi-artificial lakes here. While these have been created by anthropogenic activities, they are no less beautiful and worth a visit.
So, here are five artificial or semi-artificial lakes in Veneto that I loved visiting. Now I would like to pass the word around:
- Lake Mis – this is a long and narrow lake about half an hour away from the city of Belluno in the Veneto’s portion of the Dolomites. Its waters are stunningly turquoise and very cold. So, swimming in them is not allowed. Yet, the lake is lovely to visit for the views and the local hiking. Click here to find all the details about a beautiful and easy hike taking in Lake Mis, a furious waterfall, and some truly wonderful water potholes.
- Lake of Centro Cadore’ – this is another long and narrow lake in the Province of Belluno in Veneto. It was created in the 1950s following the construction of an important local dam. In the centre of the lake, there is a beautiful island which, in fact, is the peak of a submerged hill. It is thought that several millennia ago, this hill had been the political seat of an important community of the ancient Paleoveneti people.
- Lake Corlo (also known as Lake Arsie’ – pictured above) – a beautiful and atmospheric lake with a cool bridge and a precipitous dam right next to it. You will find it on the way to the medieval walled town of Feltre in the Dolomites. We camped on its shores a couple of times and hiked in the area. It’s very pretty there and there are many hidden corners to explore. For example, Covolo di Butistone – a castle built high inside a steep rock.
- Lake Santa Croce – this semi-artificial lake is Veneto’s second-largest lake. You will find it a short drive away from the city of Belluno. It has sparkling blue waters and sandy beaches. It’s a great destination on a warm summer day!
- Lake Camazzole (also known as Busa de Giaretta) – formerly a quarry near the River Brenta, nowadays this small artificial lake charms its visitors with its incredibly beautiful turquoise waters. You will find it a short drive away from the cities of Padua and Vicenza. People flock to Lake Camazzole in summer to sun themselves and relax on its shores. In winter, it’s a great place to walk off a big Sunday lunch. Swimming here is not allowed. The lake is very deep. Plus, on its floor, there are metal bits and debris from its former life as a quarry. Click here to read more about Lake Camazzole.
4. Small Lakes in Veneto, Italy
Veneto’s small lakes are some of the prettiest and lesser-known corners of this Northern Italian region. They make for wonderful day trips and charm the traveller with the lush nature that surrounds them, the curious stories told about them, and the peace and quiet you can enjoy on their shores.
Here are some small lakes in Veneto, Italy that are a delight to discover. Make sure that you put them on your wish list. Especially, if you like to travel off the beaten path.
- Laghetto di Roana – a small, highly-landscaped lake in the Asiago Plateau. People flock to it for a refreshing swim in summer. I particularly loved the adventure park that is right next to the lake. One of its attractions is a zipline suspended above the water. Unfortunately, I never got the nerve to try it.
- Laghetto dell’Elefante Bianco (also known as Laghetto Subiolo) – the Lake of the White Elephant is a tiny speck of green water that seems plucked out of a creepy fairytale. It’s only 35 m long and 20 m wide. However, the lake is very deep! It hides in the lush hill slopes above the River Brenta in Veneto, Italy. The lake’s waters are freezing cold. Stories abound about hissing, whistling, and screaming sounds being heard in the middle of the night coming from its direction. Hence its other name is Subiolo – the Hissing Lake. I strongly advise you not to visit this lake on your own. It’s part of a karst system and the water level here can rise dramatically and suddenly. The local rafting clubs organise visits, so it’s best to visit under their guidance. For more details about this small lake, have a look at point 8 in this list with mysterious places to visit in Veneto, Italy.
- Lakes in the Euganean Hills – there are several small lakes dotted around the lush Euganean – a group of volcanic hills near Padua in Veneto, Italy. A special mention deserves the pretty as a picture Laghetto della Costa near the charming village of Arqua’ Petrarca. Laghetto ai Maronari is near the small town of Cinto Euganeo and dries out during the hot months. The most famous small lake of the Euganean Hills is the Lago di Lispida. Its thermal waters and curative muds have given rise to many local legends. However, this lake is within private grounds.
- Laghetto di Bosco – a charming small lake right next door to the Rubano Ethnographic Park (have a look at the end of this blog post for more details about it). It’s great for a walk around it in any season and for bird-watching.
- Laghetti di Laghi (pictured above) – these are two small charming lakes. They stand at the foot of the hilltop town of Laghi in the Venetian Prealps. Pairs of white swans live here. The crystal clear water of the lakes reflects the lush green hues of the surrounding hills and meadows. It’s so beautiful here! A visit is a must.
5. Pools and Small Waters in Veneto, Italy
This is an interesting category of bodies of water in Veneto, Italy. In Italian, they are known as pozze and piccole acque (literally, pools and small waters). While they are not strictly lakes, they represent a curious water basin that is very typical for this Northern Italian region. Hence, I have included them in this list of Veneto’s lakes.
Generally, speaking, the pozze and piccole acque are tiny specks of water which are used to water farm animals that graze in the mountains and to irrigate gardens and small plots of land. They can be either natural or artificial. The waters in them are shallow and often stagnant. Traditionally, you come across these pools and small waters when you are out and about hiking in Veneto’s hills and mountains. They add something whimsical to the beautiful landscape around you.
Here are a few locations where you can see some pozze and piccole acque for yourself.
- Monte Baldo – there are several pozze and piccole acque dotted all over the slopes of Monte Baldo – the tall and rugged mountain group which flanks the eastern shores of Lake Garda. You can see a small pozza on the hike to the Tibetan Bridge, and a couple of others on the hike leading from the Localita’ Due Pozze to the mountain hut Fiori del Baldo. I particularly like the pozza (pictured above) at the foot of the hilltop Fort Naole.
- Excalibur Hiking Path – there is a small pozza next to a pretty stone house that stands near the path. This hike in the vicinity of Tonezza del Cimone in the Little Dolomites is one of the easiest and most beautiful hikes to do in the Province of Vicenza, Veneto.
- Sentiero dei Grandi Alberi – there is a small pozza next to Malga Morando on the beautiful Path of the Big Trees in the Little Dolomites. Click here to find out how to do this very pleasant and easy hike in the Province of Vicenza, Veneto.
6. Lakes in Nature Oases and Reserves in Veneto, Italy
One of the best and yet little-known things about Veneto, Italy is that this is a land rich in nature oases and reserves. Some of them are under the protection of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). These are great places to go for a walk and often they include one or more lakes or ponds.
A few excellent examples are:
- Oasi WWF degli Stagni di Casale (pictured above) – this large nature and wildlife area is literally on Vicenza’s doorstep. It stretches over 22 hectares. Many different types of birds, amphibians, and reptiles live here. The oasis was formerly a clay quarry. When the extraction of clay was discontinued, the area was reclaimed by nature and several large ponds brimmed by lush vegetation were formed. Boardwalk bridges were then suspended above the ponds, thus giving you a chance to get really close to nature and watch the local wildlife through the tall reeds. Click here to read more about this wonderful place.
- Oasi WWF Cave di Noale – this is another former clay quarry that has been turned into a lovely nature reserve. It has two large-ish lakes where you can indulge your inner birdwatching nerd. The reserve is literally five minutes away from the historic centre of Noale – a pretty medieval town in the Province of Venice in Veneto, Italy. Click here to read more about Noale and the WWF Cave di Noale.
- Oasi di Ca’ di Mezzo – this is a lovely place to visit in any season. It’s 30 hectares of agricultural land that has been flooded in order to help purify the River Bacchiglione. You will find this nature oasis 20 mins away from the town of Chioggia on the southern end of the Venetian Lagoon. I loved our winter walks there. The black cormorants were beautiful to observe from the wooden bridge which runs across the large lake.
Map of the Lakes in Veneto Covered in This Blog Post
The map below gives you a general idea of the location in the context of the Veneto, Italy of the many lakes covered in this blog post. Please, use Google Maps and other sources to check navigation instructions and details such as parking, nearest towns and other useful information.
Veneto is a Northern Italian region famous for its capital – Venice – and its incredibly rich artistic and historic heritage. At the same time, this corner of Northern Italy is blessed with striking natural features. Among them, Veneto’s lakes truly stand out.
In the above blog post, I share with you information about visiting and exploring more than 20 of the most beautiful and/or interesting lakes here. From Veneto’s portion of Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda – to small mirrors of water with ancient origins like Lake Fimon near Vicenza, I have covered several types of lakes here to accommodate all types of tastes and holiday plans.
I hope that the provided information is of interest to you and that it will help you plan a great holiday or some exciting day trips in Veneto, Italy.
Enjoy the lakes of Veneto!
More Helpful Veneto Info for You
Veneto: Best Cities to Visit, Top 15 Places, 30 Adventures, 15 Most Colourful Places
Venice: Essential Tips, Hidden Gems, Nearest Airports, Boats in Venice, Haunted Venice, Day Trips from Venice, Arco del Paradiso
Verona: Things to Do in One Day, Day Trips from Verona
Padua: Things to Do in One Day, 101 Facts About Padua, 10 Reasons to Visit Padua, Day Trips from Padua
Vicenza: Things to Do, Day Trips from Vicenza
More Helpful Italian Lakes Info for You
Lake Garda: Best Towns, Nearest Airports, Travel Options, Lake Garda with Kids, Torri del Benaco, Rocca di Garda, Punta di San Vigilio, Tibetan Bridge
Lake Como: Things to See, Nesso
Lakes in Trentino: 8 Must-See Lakes, Lake Caldonazzo
More Helpful Italy Info for You
Best of Italy: Italian Piazzas, Italian Food, Italian Markets, Italian Coffee Culture
Northern Italy: 18 Best Cities to Visit
Friuli Venezia Giulia: Venzone, Most Beautiful Villages
Emilia Romagna: Bologna, Ravenna, Comacchio, Most Beautiful Villages
Marche: 6 Reasons to Visit, Gradara, Frasassi Caves, Temple of Valadier
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