Agrigento ... The Valley Of The Temples

“The South of Italy and Sicily were a gift from the gods to the Greeks.
Salvatore Furnari, Historian

Temple of Concord


The legendary Valley of The Temples is one of the most popular destinations in Sicily and when we first visited Sicily we were eager to visit. So we booked a private driver to take us.

Our driver Vincenzo from Franco Tours collected us in a sparklingly clean black Mercedes and we began our adventure to Agrigento. The drive down takes approximately 2 hours 40minutes from Taormina.
Vincenzo kept us entertained throughout the journey pointing out places of interest all the way.
The drive is scenic passing by the hilltop towns of Enna and Caltanissetta.
On final approach to Agrigento the temples came into view on a hillside set on a rugged landscape high above us looking out towards the Mediterranean Sea towards North Africa amidst the almond trees.Temple of Hera

On arrival Vincenzo purchased our entrance tickets and arranged for a registered local guide to escort us around the archaeological site.
Aligned with Syracuse, Greek Akragas (ancient Agrigento) took part in defeating the Carthaginians in 480BC. The town would have had a population of around 200,000 who constructed temples to their gods.
After being besieged by the Carthaginians in 406BC, the town was taken by the Romans in 261BC and was renamed Agrigentum and remained under Roman rule until the fall of the Empire.
The Valley of the Temples preserves seven magnificent Doric (column) temples built from the 5th century BC:
The Temple of Hera (Circa 450BC) was dedicated to the Queen of the Gods and is the temple in which weddings would have taken place, there is signs of fire damage to this temple thought to be from the Carthaginian siege.
The Temple of Concord is the best preserved and the most stunning (Circa 430BC).
The Temple of Zeus was built in honour of the children of Sparta and Jupiter of which now unfortunately only four columns remain and it is used as the symbol of the City of Agrigento.
The Temple of Vulcan is one of the temples most affected by erosion but stills stands majestically in the Valley.
Sick people in search of healing go on pilgrimages to the Temple of Esculapio.
The oldest temple in the valley is dedicated to one of the most respected Gods Hercules (Circa 500BC).
Temple of ConcordParticularly striking is a visit to the temples at night when you can admire the splendor of these ancient monuments at sunset and as the night falls the temples are illuminated by spotlights and the scenery becomes truly magical.
The archaeological site was listed in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1998, hence why you can only have a registered local guide to escort you around the site.
We eventually returned to our car and Vincenzo took us to the Regional Archaeological Museum (which is only a short walk from the archaeological site). The museum is devoted to finds from the temples and surrounding areas and is well worth a visit.
After a wonderful seafood lunch in a local restaurant we started our journey home but not before stopping at the Sicilia Outlet Village near Enna for a spot of retail therapy.
We had a wonderful day with Vincenzo and it was obvious that he was very passionate about his island.
At White Almond  Private Sicily we can arrange for an English speaking driver to escort you to Agrigento and The Valley of The Temples, you never know you might be lucky enough to get Vincenzo.

Turkish StepsWhy not combine a visit to Scala dei Turchi (The Turkish Steps). The steps are formed from sedimentary rock with a characteristic white colour. They lie between two sandy beaches, and are accessed through a limestone rock formation in the shape of a staircase, hence the name. The latter part of the name derives from the frequent raids carried out by the Moor’s in which they used the rocks as stairs to invade Sicily.


Temple of Hera
Temple of Hera
Temple of Concord
Temple of Concord
Temple of Concord
Temple of Concord
Temple of Hercules
Human Column Statue from the remain of the Temple of Zeus

Remains of the Temple of Zeus
Human Statue from the Temple of Zeus housed in the Regional Archaeological Museum
Temple of  Hera with the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop

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