Laghi di Fusine (Fusine Lakes) are two glacial lakes located in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, very close to the borders of Austria and Slovenia. The Slovenian town Kranjska Gora is only a 20-min (14 km) drive away, while the Austrian town Villach is only a 35-min (30 km) drive away. Given their close proximity to these neighboring countries, the Fusine Lakes are also known by their German name, Weissenfelser Seen, and their Slovenian name, Belopeska Jezera. We visited Laghi di Fusine on our Slovenia Road Trip. Instead of traveling from Bovec to Kranjska Gora via Vršič Pass, we decided to travel to Kranjska Gora via Italy (SS54) and the Fusine Lakes.
Where are Laghi di Fusine
The Fusine Lakes are situated at the foot of the Mangart massif on the Italian-side of the Julian Alps (Alpi Giulie in Italian). You can spend the day walking around the lakes as well as hiking to various mountain huts and peaks in the Alpi Giulie. If you fancy a long trek into Slovenia, you can hike along the long-distance Alpe Adria trail.
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Visiting Laghi di Fusine in Northern Italy
Fusine Lakes are one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. Gorgeous is an understatement. We arrived in the morning in mid-May and had the entire Lago di Fusine Superiore to ourselves. It was an unforgettable experience to slowly walk around the lakeshore taking in the mirror-like reflection of Mangart in Lago di Fusine Superiore’s still waters.
You can drive directly to Laghi di Fusine. There’s neither an entrance fee nor a parking fee to visit Laghi di Fusine. The best place to park is at the large parking lot by Lago di Fusine Superiore (the upper lake). You’ll first pass Lago di Fusine Inferiore (the lower lake), before reaching the parking lot at the upper lake.
Hiking around the Fusine Lakes
After parking your car, you can walk to the upper Fusine Lake and follow a path around the entire lake. As you circuit the lake, you’ll have continuously bewitching views of Mangart. The path itself is easy to follow and mostly flat. There are a number of benches positioned around the lake, so you can rest and enjoy the view along the way. The circular path around Lago di Fusine Superiore is 2km in length and takes 45 minutes to complete.
There are paths connecting the upper and lower lakes, so there’s no need to re-park. On the north side of Lago di Fusine Inferiore (the Lower Fusine Lake), there’s a small eatery called Belvedere. When we visited, they didn’t have very much in terms of food. Only toast with ham and cheese was available to order. So, this is a better place for a beverage than a meal.
Hiking to Rifugio Luigi Zacchi
If you want to continue exploring the region, you can also hike to Rifugio Luigi Zacchi (1380 m) along Trail No. 512. This mountain hut in the Julian Alps offers food, refreshments, and great alpine views. It’s generally open from late-May to end of September.
From the Lago di Fusine Superiore parking lot, follow the wide gravel road in the direction of Mangart. After about 5 minutes, you’ll reach an intersection. You can either take the Sentiero Rif. Zacchi path to the left, which follows a narrow forest trail to the hut. This is the faster route. Or, you can take the Strada Rif. Zacchi path to the right, which is a gravel road, suitable also for bikers. This is a bit longer, but you’ll have more views of the Mangart mountain as you ascend. We hiked this as a loop, taking the left forest trail up to the rifugio and descending via the road.
Rifugio Luigi Zacchi Hiking Trail Overview
Trailhead: Lago di Fusine Superiore (929 m)
Distance: 3 km (Forest Trail), 4.4 km (Road Trail)
Altitude Difference: 451 m
Time Needed: 1 hr one-way
When to Go: May – October. Rifugio Luigi Zacchi is usually open late May to end of September.
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