What to see in the Valley of the Temples, Sicily
Today you will discover the Greek World at the Valley of the Temples (Sicily), a must-visit for archaeology and history lovers.
You can start in the morning visiting the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, one of the most beautiful places in the world, an archaeological area of Sicily and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pindar, the Greek poet and writer, described it as “one of the most beautiful cities of those inhabited by mortals”.
In an almost enchanted valley, full of almond trees in bloom, it is the most impressive group of monuments of all of Magna Greece. The unique charm of this site is in this blend of cultural environment and natural landscape.
The Valley of the Temples (Sicily) is certainly the most important testimony of the ancient, classical culture of Sicily. It’s famous for its well-preserved temples, seven in total, as well as the area of the necropolis and sanctuaries outside the walls.
When walking into the Valley of the Temples (Sicily) for the first time, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking you had stumbled upon the film set of a historical drama. Gigantic Greek columns that rise dramatically from the rugged backdrops will make you feel as though you have stepped back in time.
The eastern zone of the Valley of the Temples in Sicily is probably the most impressive, containing the three best preserved temples. If you’re short on time you should head here first to be sure not to miss them. The 5th century Temple of Hera is the first temple you will see as you walk through the eastern entrance.
Perched on the edge of a high ridge, you can enjoy this temple along with magnificent views.
Instead of taking the long, straight path to the next set of temples, make sure you duck alongside and walk through the olive grove with its stunning views and Byzantine tombs built into the city walls.
This will lead you to arguably the most impressive and most photographed structure of the park, Temple of Concordia. This ridge top temple is one of the best preserved Greek temples discovered and it’s an incredible sight.
To make the Temple of Concordia even more special, lying next to it is a huge modern statue of Icarus, with his burnt wings from flying too close to the sun. On the site, you can also visit the remains of many other temples dedicated to various divinities like Juno, Hercules, Hephaestus and Athena.
Aside from the main attractions there is plenty more to explore. The Valley of the Temples is extensive and around every corner is a new, equally beautiful surprise. Anything less than a day here and you will not get to soak it all in, so if you can make sure you spare some time and take your time exploring.
(Tickets from € 18.50 website) The valley of the Temples (Sicily) is open all year round, from 8:30 to 19:00. The last entry is 1 hour before closing time. The visit takes around 2 hours. There are two ticket offices: the Porta Quinta – Sant’Anna ticket office in Contrada Sant’ Anna (Via Caduti di Marzabotto) and the Temple of Giunone ticket office in Via Panoramica Valle dei Templi near the Temple of Juno. In the vicinity of each ticket office there are parking lots for cars.
- You can visit the archaeological site on foot, but if you are tired or can’t walk too much, there is also a tourist train shuttle service. It cost 3€ one way. Otherwise, you can do a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples by electric scooter, and it’s really awesome!
- There is no shade in the archaeological park, so don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen. Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes as the path is rocky and rough in places.
- If you want to buy drinks or have lunch in the Valley of the Temples (Sicily) there is a restaurant inside the park.
Best time to visit The Valley of the Temples, Sicily
Spring and early autumn are the best seasons for a sightseeing tour in the Valley of the Temples, thanks to the mild weather. From late January begins the blossoming of the almond trees (every year, the first week of February, the famous almond blossom festival takes place in Agrigento). In the following weeks, also the other flowers blossom, creating a fantastic coloured carpet in the countryside.
If you are visiting Agrigento in the summer, think at the high temperatures of the Sicilian summer. In the valley of the temples are only few shadow spots, so avoid the hottest hours for your visit, in summer temperatures are often 35-40 degrees centigrade on the ridge.
During the summer months, you can visit at night time when the temples are illuminated – an absolutely spectacular sight.
Valley of the Temples Hotels – Where to Stay
Best luxury hotel: Hotel Villa Athena 5*, Agrigento
An oasis of luxury within the Valley of the Temples
The only 5-star hotel situated within the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples, which UNESCO has declared a World Heritage Site, with an exclusive direct entrance. Situated 200 metres away from the Temple of Concordia, a true masterpiece of Doric art, Villa Athena is a place which transcends time and space, where nature art and beauty have been merging together for over 2,500 years in the presence of the gods.
Rooms from € 360/night
Best mid-range hotel: Foresteria Baglio Della Luna 4*, San Leone
An experience of charm and prestige
Hotel Foresteria Baglio della Luna at Agrigento is a boutique hotel overlooking the Valley of the Temples, with 23 rooms and suites located in the ancient Foresteria and in the medieval watch tower.
Immersed in the green countryside it is an oasis of comfort, charm and absolute silence where you can fully enjoy the Sicilian beauty. You will be enchanted by its timeless charm.
Rooms from € 120/night
Best budget hotel: Colleverde Park Hotel 4*, Agrigento
Colleverde Park Hotel overlooks the Valley of the Temples, and is a 15-minute walk from Agrigento’s famous archaeological site and 2 km from the city centre. The restaurant serves typical Sicilian cuisine and offers lovely views of the Valley. Guests can relax in the hotel’s charming gardens or in the lobby, decorated with 19th-century ceramics and furniture.
Rooms from € 65/night
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