Agrigento is one of the essential stops on your route through Sicily . In this place, located on the southern coast of the island, stood the ancient Greek city of Acragante , which was one of the most prominent in Magna Graecia during the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. That is why it is so rich in history! You won’t be short of things to do in Agrigento: from seeing the best-preserved Greek temples outside of Greece to swimming at Scala dei Turchi . In this post we tell you 15 things to see and do in Agrigento so you can enjoy one of the most exciting destinations in Sicily.
1. Hallucinate with the Temple of Concordia, the most famous to see in Agrigento
The Temple of Concordia is the most impressive of all that you can visit in the Valley of the Temples, an archaeological complex located on the outskirts of the current city. In this sacred area, seven Greek temples were built during the 6th and 5th centuries BC and the Temple of Concordia is the one that is in the best state of conservation.
In fact, it is the best preserved Greek temple on the planet along with the Hephaestion in Athens and the classical Temple of Hera in Paestum.
The Temple of Concord is believed to have been built between 440 and 430 BC . It is so called because near the temple they found an inscription in Latin in which the Latin word “concordia” appeared.
As a curiosity, in the year 597 it was transformed into a Christian church . Bishop Gregory of Agrigento converted it into a basilica consecrated to the apostles Peter and Paul, and it is largely for this reason that it is so well preserved. Without a doubt, the most beautiful temple to see in Agrigento .
2. Know the Temple of Juno or Temple of Hera
The Temple of Juno Lacinia is also known as the Temple of Hera . Basically Juno is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess, wife and sister of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology. Although it bears this name, it is not really known what deity was worshiped here, since the attribution of it to Hera is only based on a confusion with the temple of Hera at Cape Licinius, near Crotona.
Juno’s temple was built between 460 and 450 BC , so it is older than Concordia. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed by the Carthaginians, who burned it down in 406 BC. However, the Romans repaired it in the 1st century BC using terracotta tiles instead of marble. Today, the temple retains much of the original columns.
3. And also the Temple of Olympian Zeus!
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is another essential visit to do in Agrigento . It’s huge! In fact, it is believed to be the largest Doric temple ever built and the third largest Greek temple in the world. Probably today it won’t give you that feeling, since all we can see is a pile of stones and collapsed pillars.
Unfortunately, an earthquake in 797 destroyed its structure , which was located on an area of 6,000 square meters. Much of the collapsed material was used during the Middle Ages to build some buildings in and around the city. If you want to have an idea of what it was like, it is best to visit the Archaeological Museum of Agrigento.
4. See a sunset from the Temple of the Dioscuri
This temple seemed to us one of the most interesting to see in Agrigento. It is known as the Temple of the Dioscuri or the Temple of Castor and Pollux , although it is an arbitrarily attributed name, since there is not much information about it. Several historians believe that it was rather the Temple of Concord that was dedicated to the famous hero twins.
5. Photograph the Temple of Heracles
To finish with the temples that we liked the most in the archaeological zone, we could not forget to mention the famous Temple of Heracles . Heracles or Hercules was dedicated, one of the most respected heroes by the inhabitants of ancient Acragante.
6. Bathing in Scala dei Turchi, one of the best things to do in Agrigento
Agrigento is much more than the Valley of the Temples. Near the city you can visit some of the best beaches in Sicily. And more specifically, we are talking about Scala dei Turchi. There you can enjoy one of the most beautiful landscapes on the island. Dominated by huge white cliffs that merge with the turquoise of the sea, the landscape is incredibly beautiful.
How to get to Scala dei Turchi from Agrigento?
This is the most complicated part. If you have a rental car, it will hardly take 20 minutes to get to the beach. However, if you want to go from Agrigento to Scala dei Turchi by public transport, it is already more complicated.
We recommend that you use the Temple Tour Bus , a shuttle that takes you to the main tourist attractions such as the Valley of the Temples or Scala dei Turchi, both located on the outskirts of the city. It is not the cheapest option, but it is the one that will give you the least headaches. You can buy tickets for one or two days, depending on how long you are going to be. Of course, you should know that it DOES NOT OPERATE ON MONDAYS.
7. Stroll through the streets of the historic center of Agrigento
The historic center of Agrigento is beautiful. It is a labyrinth of closed streets that captivate you in every way : its picturesque facades, its historic buildings and the infinity of sweets that you will see in the shop windows.
Via Atenea is the main street of the historic center. Walking around there you will see several interesting religious buildings, although other charming streets start from there. Getting lost in its streets and falling in love with its buildings is one of the best things to do in Agrigento .
8. Visit the Regional Archaeological Museum, something curious to do in Agrigento
As in almost any interesting destination in Sicily, Agrigento also has an important archaeological museum. In this case, there you will be able to discover a lot of archaeological finds from the provinces of Agrigento and Caltanissetta . Some date back to prehistory!
We believe that it is a very interesting visit to do in Agrigento , especially before visiting the Valley of the Temples. Basically, because in the museum you can see the remains of the original temples and collect a lot of information, being the perfect complement to your visit.
9. Delight in local products at Infurna Pasticceria Giuseppe
In Italy you will probably gain a few kilos. All the products of its gastronomy are so appetizing! Just walking through the streets of the historic center of Agrigento will make you hungry. It will not be difficult for you to find places where you can taste some regional specialties. In this case, on Via Atenea you will find this small pastry shop with authentic delicacies.