Teenage girl descending an idyllic lake at the Dalmation coast, named Dragon's eye - stock photo
Dragon's eye lake, (Zmajevo Oko) in Rogoznica, Croatia. Natural salt water lake in the middle of nature, not far from the beach. The lake is in the middle of nature and freely accessible to all. Many people take a swim there as well.


Dragon's Eye Lake

Top choice in Northern Dalmatia

One of Northern Dalmatia's most striking natural phenomena, Dragon's Eye Lake is a 10,000-sq-metre oval encircled by 4m- to 24m-high cliffs. Connected to the ocean by underwater channels and cracks in the surrounding limestone, the lake is up to 15m deep. What makes it so unusual is its base of hydrogen sulphide – although it's safe to swim here, the water gets hotter the deeper you dive. On occasion the lake 'boils' as the salts and hot water bubble to the surface.

Not surprisingly, numerous local legends swirl around the lake. Perhaps the most famous of these relates to a dragon named Murin, illegitimate son of Hera and Poseidon, who ruled Heraclea. He protected the islanders as long as they gave to him, every year on the longest day of the year, their most beautiful girl as his wife. Sadly, each girl would never survive her wedding night. One year Aristoles, great-grandson of the Argonauts’ Jason, arrived on the winged horse Pegasus and fell in love with the woman chosen to be the dragon's prize. Aristoles challenged Murin to a duel, which Aristoles duly won by impaling the dragon with a spear made by the goddess Athena. The dying Murin gouged out his own eyes, one of which slipped beneath his feet and melted the rock; the resulting depression then filled with water – a lake was born. It is believed that if two people in love bathe in Dragon’s Eye Lake, they will be blessed with eternal love, healthy children and a happy marriage.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Dalmatia attractions

1. St Nicholas' Church

10.74 MILES

Outside Drvenik Veli village is the unfinished 18th-century St Nicholas' Church, whose builder never quite got past the monumental facade.

2. St George's Church

10.89 MILES

St George's Church dates from the 16th century and has baroque furniture and a Venetian altarpiece.

3. Medena Beach

12.55 MILES

On the Seget Riviera, 4km west of the old town, this stretch of beach has a long promenade lined with bars, tennis courts, minigolf, ice-cream parlours…

4. Obonjan Island

13.37 MILES

The tiny car-free island of Obonjan, around 10km off Šibenik, has been transformed into a holiday resort, but one with a twist. Accommodation is in safari…

5. Sokolarski Centre

13.58 MILES

Dedicated to protecting birds of prey in Croatia, this centre performs a kind of rescue and rehab service for around 150 injured raptors each year…

6. St Francis' Church

14.41 MILES

The Franciscan monastery's mammoth church dates from the end of the 14th century. It has fine frescoes and an array of Venetian baroque paintings, but the…

7. Marmont's Gloriette

14.5 MILES

Right at the western tip of Trogir island, this elegant gazebo was built by the French during the Napoleonic occupation of Dalmatia. At the time it jutted…

8. St John's Church

14.53 MILES

Dating from the end of the 15th century, this church is a fine example of Gothic-Renaissance architecture, but sadly the interior has mouldering paintwork…