At the end of 2022, the 50 year lease which permitted the owner of the boats, Bruno Heiss, to operate out of the boathouse, expired. What would happen next with the iconic boats seemed in limbo.
However, as of May 2023, it seems the lease has been renegotiated and the boats are back in business.
But there have been some important new changes to become more sustainable.
Mainly, the new boat rental website outlines a fresh booking process and higher pricing for private boat rentals. Let’s get into things.
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Yes, you read that right. Exclusively renting boats at Lago di Braies for photos is now €400. Before you cry “cash cow” however, consider why.
Lago di Braies sees over 10k visitors A DAY in the high season of July and August. That’s a lot of people in a relatively narrow area.
Sustainability has been a huge topic in Süd Tirol due to the mass tourism in the area, and this is a step in the right direction. Raising prices to minimize the impact of tourism on the ecosystem of the lake is the only way to keep this place the way it is.
If you’re a casual traveller to the area, please consider biking up to the lake from the Papin bike rental shop nearby to reduce traffic and parking issues near the lake.
The number of boats allowed out on the lake at one time has also gone down. This is to limit the impact on the water and the wildlife, but also has benefits for you.
With fewer people on the lake, you get a more peaceful experience.
Overtourism has been an issue in Italy for a long time, but reached a peak in recent years. Süd Tirol is following in the steps of Venice and restricting travel to certain areas by capping numbers and blocking roads during midday hours.
The mountain culture in all of the Alps is about a oneness with nature. This goes back ages for the people who live here. Tourism means more people, and more people means less of that oneness we all come to the area to experience.
The carbon emissions of increased traffic, infrastructure and an exploding Airbnb scene have led to out of control air, water, light and noise pollution levels.
The people and wildlife who call this area home thank you for doing what it takes to help us keep it clean, quiet and beautiful!
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Cost: €200 if you want to split the cost with one other group, €400 if you want it exclusively to yourself
Advanced booking: No. You must arrange with another group on site the morning of.
Time: 90 minutes
Number of boats: 2 boats for up to 5 people in each group
If you book the €400 exclusive boat tour, you are still given 2 boats. This means your photographer/videographer can film you from an adjacent boat.
Cost: €75 per boat
Advanced booking: Yes, advanced bookings open 4 days before. No refunds.
Time: 30 minutes
Number of boats: 1 boat for up to 5 people
Cost: €15 per person
Advanced booking: no. First come first serve.
Time: 30 minutes
Number of boats: 1 boat shared with 4 others
With this option, you are essentially booking a seat on one of the boats, rather than the boat itself.
Cost: €69 per person
Advanced booking: Yes, advanced bookings open 4 days before.
What’s included: an e-Bike from the Papin bike rental shop, a mean from Tuscherhof, 30 minute seat on a shared boat rental during normal opening hours
How to get to Lago di Braies with this option: 6.3km (4 miles) straight up the road to Lago di Braies. It’s a 15 minute bicycle ride with a slight bit of elevation on the way up.
Why this option: it reduces traffic to the lake, which sees up to 15k visitors a DAY in high season. It also allows you to skip the line at the boathouse with your reservation.
NOTE: DURING HIGH SEASON BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 09:00 AND 16:00, YOU’LL STILL NEED TO BOOK A TICKET TO GO UP THE ROAD ONCE YOU TURN OFF THE SS49 HIGHWAY AT THE ROUNDABOUT!!!
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