Zăton Lakes – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

There are two temporary lakes of karst origin, of different size, located on both sides of Ponoarele Cave.

Their names come from the local dialect, meaning that “a zatoni” is a verb used for stopping the flow of a river. Indeed, the lake is formed by a massive block of limestone that stops the water crossing to Cave Hill.

As karst phenomenon, Large Zaton lake has particularities and can reach impressive dimensions of 2 square km and a depth of 20 m at the highest point of the strainer. In rich rainfall years, the lake is not running dry, offering a breathtaking view. When the lake is dry out, water disappears in the cave and the landscape becomes desolate barrenness.

In autumn, when the waters return, after the rain starts again, the wild ducks lie on their quiet mirror, in a romantic setting.

Small Zaton Lake is formed at north-east part from God`s Bridge, opposite from Large Zaton Lake, when rainfall is abundant and the river`s flow from Stei could not be drawn off by sip. Those lake waters sometimes join with Turkish Valley flooding the entire area used for agriculture.

Small Zaton lake is said to be bottomless, because no driver touched it but, in fact, the lack is an extension of the Bulba Cave, discharge that could not absorb all the water from the valley, on rainy period, so it simply fills with water.