Ille sur Tet
Visit Ille sur Tet (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
Ille sur Tet is a busy town in the Pyrénées Orientale department. It is close to a wonderful natural rock formation known as the Orgues d'Ille sur Tet which are well worth a detour to see.
Exploring Ille sur Têt
Ile sur Tet has had a turbulent history because of its position near the border with Spain. As the town grew three different layers of ramparts became necessary to contain and protect the growing population. Various gateways, walls and towers can still be seen of these original fortifications.
The town is dominated by its church, the eglise St Etienne, and particularly by its bell-tower which rises up above the rest of the town. It is its size rather than any particular historic significance that makes the church stand out.
The ancient hospital of Ille sur Tet, the Hospice d'Illa was built in the middle ages for the sick and elderly of the region. Inside there are a number of frescoes, statues and religious artworks as well as the building itself to admire.
The Orgues d'Ille sur Tet
The main reason why people come to the town is to visit the wonderful rock formations just a few kilometers away. There is a short walk from the carpark to the entrance. The orgues form a kind of natural ampitheatre made of tall pillars of rock which have been eroded into wonderful 'organ-like' shapes that stand up to 12 meters high. As well as the beautiful shapes of the rock they are all formed from a white sandy rock with regular layers of a yellow rock running through them giving them a pretty striped appearance. They are known as fairy chimneys or 'hoodoos'. Many are topped with scrappy-looking bits of rock and even some vegetation but in effect this is offering some protection to the more vulnerable rock below.
A walk leads you around the small park allowing you to get some excellent views over the different formations. Each new view offers another beautiful scene. Its almost impossible to stop taking photos!
The rock structures are fragile and the same weather that formed these wonderful formations is also gradually eroding them away. Lots of sand washes down from the columns each time it rains.
The site has something of a look of a miniature Bryce Canyon which is probably my favourite place in the world!
Surrounding the 'orgues d'ille sur tet' the view opens up to mountains on three sides. To the south is the Massif des Aspres, to the south-east Mount Canigou, with its peak known as the tooth of a dog (dent de chien) - the highest peak of the Pyrenees Orientale, and to the north the granite plateau of Montalba.
Photos of Ille sur Tet
Click any picture to start the gallery
Address: Ille-sur-Têt, Vinça, Prades, Pyrenees-Orientales, Languedoc-Roussillon, 66130 || GPS: latitude 42.671667, longitude 2.621389
Map of Ille sur Tet & places nearby
Highlights close by
Molitg les Bains 19km
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Ille sur Tet.
See Languedoc-Roussillon and Pyrenees-Orientales (the region and department for Ille sur Tet) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Ille sur Tet, France
- Orgued d'Ille-sur-Tet - site of natural beauty
- Eglise de Trinité d'Aregno (Aregno) - religious monument
- Chapelle de Casenoves (Ille-sur-tet) - religious monument
- Prieuré de Serrabone (Boule-d'Amont) - religious monument (9km)
- Castelnou - most beautiful village (9km)
- Eglise de Sainte Marie de Marcevol (Arboussols) - religious monument (10km)
- Eus - most beautiful village (14km)
- Prades - recommended detour (17km)
- Abbaye Saint Michel de Cuixa (Codalet) - religious monument (21km)
- Gorges de Galamus - site of natural beauty (22km)
Market days in Ille sur Tet: Regular market(s) are held in Ille sur Tet each Wednesday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Ille sur Tet (Francais)