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Lago Volaia – Wolayersee

We are on the borderline between Italy and Austria, where you can find this unbelievable lake amid the mountain. Lake Volaia is the perfect excursion to relax on a hot summer day.
We tried to climb this mountain fourth times, due to the bad weather on the day we were planning. We prefer to postpone it again and again. The third time was so close; the weather was perfect; we were at the right starting point; guess what, we lost track. Instead, we’re going to follow the asphalt/main road. We choose the first sentiero(pathway) on the right side. The ending of our destination leads us to a spectacular view of Rifugio Marinelli, which is not bad at all.
Not all who wander are lost.

Lake Volaia, at 1951 meter above sea level, is a small heart-shaped wonder on the border between Italy and Austria, above Forni Avoltri. There are two huts to find above the Lambertenghi Romanin on the Italian side – currently under renovation- and Wolayersee Hutte on the Austrian side which is open.

Starting point and where to park

From Forni Avoltri, we follow the signs for “Rifugio Tolazzi” and then take the road towards Collina. After about 10 kilometers, we arrive at the car park of Rifugio Tolazzi, and it’s free. It was Saturday in the morning in June; we came, not to be exact, around seven in the morning, and the parking space was almost half full. From where you park, you walk up and follow the main road, do not take the small path on the right until you reach the crossroad to Lake Volaia signage on the left side.

Route and Duration

The wide lane for the first hour of the walk is more manageable on a gravel path with a low altitude and not very tricky; even those who are not expert hikers can face it.
The shortcut path(sentiero) is not very demanding as well.
We decided to go through a shortcut course because it’s more fun.
But here is the most challenging part before reaching the top, when the wide lane and shortcut meet, you will be passing the road to purgatory. The path becomes steeper and bumpier, which is the most challenging part that requires a few more breaks, breath in-out, and refreshments for yourself, and then get going. We reach the top in about two hours and return about 1.5hrs with a distance of 8.25 km with 600 meters in altitude. Therefore, we start from Rifugio Tolazzi 1,450 meters above sea level to 2,000 meters.
Before reaching the lake, you may see the signage of other trails to Rifugio Marinelli and the Spinotti Path, then Lambertenghi Romanin refuge.


Above the Lambertenghi Romanin refuge, you can see the panoramic view of Lake Volaia, a heart-shaped surrounded by spectacular breathtaking mountains. We decided to get a break at the shore lake to eat our lunch since we had brought food to get some relaxation, enjoying the panorama. I saw some people swimming in the lake as well. Then we stopped at Wolayersee Hutte to get some strudel, coffee for me, and beer for my husband; after that, we continued wandering around the lakes.


The age of reefs takes you through an ancient ocean.
In the Devonian period (from 420 to 360 million years ago), a shallow and warm sea, rich in coral reefs, lengthened where today we see the Carnic Alps. The current Wolayer Lake area was the coral reef’s central body and lagoon. The lagoon deposits are today the Biegengebirge chain. The Coglians and Cima Lastrons del Lago mountains represent the core of the cliff, consisting of limestone remains of corals, sea lilies, gastropod shells, bivalves, and cephalopods. A well-preserved gastropod is visible on the boulder at this stopping point. In the surrounding debris, you can find many other fossil remains of the ancient inhabitants of the coral reef.

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The Italian military posts

The Carnic Alps are the natural border between Italy and Austria, where you can see tunnels that inside there is a position for cannon, machine gun, and the remaining trench.


Although my husband and I are not professional hikers, we try our best to reach the top no matter what. All in all, the hiking moment was not so difficult; anyone could do it, even children.
On the trail, we glimpsed the beautiful panoramic view from up above to the downside; traversing those mountain pine and mountain scree was adventurous. Other than that, many tiny lovely flowers bloom in different colors such as yellow, blue, purple, pink, gradients, violet, whites, and more. Aside from that, we saw a marmot and heard their whistle. We haven’t got a chance to photograph it because this creature hides quickly and blends itself with nature. Sitting down in front of those grey and green height mountains with a lake it’s such a magical moment. The view is stunning and truly worth visiting.

It is a must to bring extra change cloths and coats for the fast weather changes. Don’t forget a raincoat, hat, and sunglasses. Food and water supply.

This journey is perfect for relaxing and spending an alternative weekend escaping.

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jgtraverse does not assume any kind of responsibility for the interpretation, use and unauthorized disclosure of the material contained on the site. This material has always been collected and processed by the authors but changes to the routes, possible landslides or deviations of the paths that may have caused changes in the routes over the years (or even simply within a season!) And which are not been reported in the articles. The mountain is alive, it changes every day, as well as the paths: before embarking on any excursion you must HAVE FULL CONSCIOUSNESS OF YOUR PHYSICAL AND PSYCHIC SKILLS, BUY THE MOST RECENT TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS OF THE LOCATION, AND A GOOD SENSE OF ORIENTATION. Before embarking on any type of excursion, we recommend a thorough study of the route and comparison with the most recent and updated topographic maps. We do not manage bookings with accommodation facilities / refuges or mountain huts.

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