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.