The highlights of Agrigento are without a doubt the mesmerising sites of Selinunte and the Valley of the Temples. Selinunte is situated to the west of the city, a sprawling collection of monuments set high on an atmospheric plateau enjoying panoramic views of the sea. The latter, a UNESCO world heritage site, is not perched in a valley as the name suggests, but up on a ridge to the south of the town centre. The distinctive Doric columns of the temples create an imposing site, silhouetted against the sky.
As well as these fine archaeological experiences, Agrigento is ideally located in the heart of Sicily’s south-west, a short journey from the glittering seas, golden beaches and picturesque seaside towns that make Sicily such an idyllic holiday destination.
The Valley of The Temples
This parade of ancient temples, dedicated to and named for the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, attracts over 600,000 visitors every year. Built over the period between 510 BC and 430 BC, the eight beautifully-preserved temples are named for the Greek gods and goddesses of the time. These monuments as well as the numerous other ruins of the park are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and offer dazzling views out over Sicily and the sea.
The ruined city of Selinunte is the number one excursion for visitors exploring this region of Sicily. Located to the west of Agrigento, this huge archaeological park is comprised of temples, an acropolis, ancient walls and many areas that are yet to be excavated. It is advisable to allow at least 3 or 4 hours to explore the ruins and to pack a picnic, water and sun protection.
This town was sacked and conquered by the Carthaginians in 409 BC, an attack which brought Selinunte to its knees and turned much of the landscape into rubble. The grand temples and sacrificial altars might initially appear to be the most impressive feature of Selinunte, but the remnants of the town with its ruined houses and shops painting a picture of ancient life make an equally captivating sight.
Medieval towns and traditional Siclian villages