Isli and Tislit are among North Africa's most beautiful lakes. The two lakes reach nearly 2200 meters, and they are magnificent natural wonders that provide the ideal spot for exploring Imilchil's hidden treasures.
Imilchil’s Engagement Moussem honors the lovers from the famous forbidden romance and for whom the two lakes named after them.
The natural spot is located 20 kilometers from Imilchil, and is accessible via a paved road. That’s for Tislit, while Isli is located 10 kilometers down the road on a rocky route.
As a result, different services placed on the side of Tislit’s tiny lake, which stretches over 1.3km² and a depth of 27m. A camping area on the lake’s edge allows enjoying the natural views while also being close to the region’s must-see attractions.
While Isli covers 2.55km² and has a depth of 95m, its crystal-clear water serves as a giant mirror, reflecting the nearby snowy peaks that produce light. All this provide the perfect conditions for photographing gorgeous wild landscapes.
Both lakes are a natural attraction for those looking for relaxation and pedestrian exploration. It also hosts the famous Moussem des Fiançailles (Engagement), which commemorates Isli and Tislit’s romance.
The story of the forbidden love
There is a story of love that grew between Tislit, from Ait Yaâza tribe, and Isli, from Ait Brahim’s, near a water source placed between the two opposing tribes. Their love was said to be so pure and genuine that they could no longer live apart. Yet, their families refused their marriage. The Amazigh Romeo and Juliet escaped and climbed a mountain to grieve their disappointment. The flow of tears was so powerful that it created the lakes, Isli and Tislit. The lovers ended up dying of sorrow. As a result of this tragedy, the two tribes decided that once a year, their young boys and girls would be allowed to marry freely.
P.S. for campers: the story says that that Isli and Tislit come out of their lakes to meet together every night.
The origins of the lakes are not clear. According to one hypothesis, the two lakes, Isli and Tislit, were formed by the collision of a meteorite that crashed through the earth’s atmosphere 40 thousand years ago. Fragments of this meteorite were found on both sides of the two lakes.
The other hypothesis rejects the first one, claiming that Lake Isli has a tectonic-karstic origin related to the limestone character of the Eastern High Atlas, formed during the Middle and Upper Pleistocene eras (more than 100,000 years).