The 10 Best things to do in Agrigento (and around!)
So, you plan to visit Agrigento during your trip to Sicily?
Great choice, there are many beautiful places to see in the region!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this guide of the best things to do in Agrigento.
You will find everything you need to know about the must-see attractions such as the Valley of Temples, Scala dei Turchi or the Torre Salsa nature reserve.
After the Top 10 points of interest list, you will find itineraries to visit Agrigento in 1, 2 or 3 days as well as a list of the best accommodations around Agrigento, depending on your budget.
And as always, I will give you my best tips for a memorable stay!
- The 10 Best things to do in Agrigento (and around!)
- Visit Agrigento: The 10 Must-see Attractions
- 1. The Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi)
- 2. Agrigento regional archaeological museum
- 3. Agrigento market
- 4. Take a stroll in Agrigento old town
- 5. Scala dei Turchi
- 6. Capo Rosso, in Realmonte
- 7. Torre Salsa Nature Reserve
- 8. Heraclea Minoa
- 9. Sciacca
- 10. Punta Bianca Nature Reserve
- Bonus: Farm Cultural Park – Agrigento unusual visit
- 1 day in Agrigento
- 2 days in Agrigento
- 3 days in Agrigento
- Where to stay in Agrigento
- Where to eat in Agrigento
- My impressions of Agrigento
- You’re traveling in Sicily? These articles will help you!
- Visit Agrigento: The 10 Must-see Attractions
Visit Agrigento: The 10 Must-see Attractions
1. The Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi)
The Valley of the Temples, also known as Valle dei Templi in Italian, is THE must-see attraction if you are in Agrigento. It’s one of the most famous historical sites in Sicily.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this archaeological site is located south of the town of Agrigento. The park has 8 temples, all built between 510 and 430 BC.
The 2 best-known are the Concord temple and Hera ‘s temple, also known as temple of Juno. As they are the most well preserved of the valley, you can really realize how big they were!
To visit the site, you can park in one of the 2 car parks located at each end of the valley:
- One at door V or porta Quinta (via cadutti di Marzabotto). It’s the best choice.
- Another near the temple of Juno (via panoramica dei templi)
They are paid car parks, but the maximum rate is 5€, even if you stay the whole day.
Valley of the Temples entrance fee: 10€ at full rate, and you can get the site map for 1€.
The tour takes about 2h30 on foot, counting the round trip from one end of the valley to the other. For those who wish or who would be tired, a shuttle service offers round trips at 3 € per person.
You can find additional information on the official website
2. Agrigento regional archaeological museum
When buying tickets for the Valley of the Temples, you have the opportunity to get a combined ticket with Agrigento regional archaeological museum. The combined ticket is 13.50€. Bought separately, the museum entrance is 8€.
The museum is located on a hill, in the middle of the Valley of the Temples.
It presents a collection of pieces found on Agrigento site. The most famous are:
- The Telamon, a stone colossus, one of the earliest representations of humans in a temple,
- Agrigento Ephebe, a marble statue.
Other things to see in the museum: The Greek and Roman sarcophagi and the collection of antique vases.
3. Agrigento market
When going to Agrigento from the Valley of the temples, you can stop by Agrigento market, held every Friday.
Don’t expect to see a typical Sicilian market with lots of fruit and vegetable stalls, there is mainly clothes and kitchen accessories for sale. But why not buy some stuff, if you have some free space in your luggages! However, watch out for counterfeit goods, especially shoes and handbags.
There are still a few stalls selling deli meats or cheese at reasonable prices. It can be the perfect place to stock up on groceries.
The market is pretty big and everything is sold at very good prices.
4. Take a stroll in Agrigento old town
Agrigento Old Town is a nice place to take a stroll, with its beautiful churches and pretty cobblestone streets. Well, as long as you aren’t allergic to stairs!
The route begins at Atenea Street, the historical center’s main street. Along the way, sign boards will indicate you the monuments to see or visit, mainly churches and palaces.
The Holy Spirit Monastery (“Monastero de Santo Spirito” in Italian), with its almond cakes made by the nuns and the San Gerlando Cathedral are the most famous. During you tour, you can also see the Greeks’ Santa Maria Church and the Episcopal Palace.
The fastest route takes about 1 hour on foot.
Note that like everywhere in Sicily, most of the buildings and shops are closed between 12:00 and 16:00. Nap time is a serious business there!
5. Scala dei Turchi
After the Valley of the temples, the Scala dei Turchi or “Turkish staircase” is undoubtedly the second most visited place in Agrigento. You will find this must-see spot on many postcards!
Located west of Agrigento, in Realmonte, the Scala dei Turchi is a white limestone cliff carved in a staircase shape by the wind and sea. The contrast between the whiteness of the cliff and the turquoise water is striking. The photography lovers amongst you are going to be happy!
Just don’t expect to be alone, as this site is really touristic. To park your car, a few paid parking lots are available or if you are lucky enough (like us), you may find a free parking space along the road.
Once parked, go down the stairs to a first beach, and on your right you will see the Scala dei Turchi, about 150 or 200 meters away.
Don’t hesitate to climb the “steps” to admire the view, it’s really worth a look! And if you want to enjoy a quiet moment or swim quietly, a second, smaller beach is located just after. After the super touristic spot, you will be relatively alone!
We strongly recommend you to go there at sunset, it’s an unforgettable moment. Clearly one of the best places to visit in Agrigtento, and even in all Sicily!
And if you want to get a Bird’s-eye view of the cliff, you can also go to the viewpoint. It’s on the roadside, before arriving at the Scala. The panorama is also very beautiful there!
6. Capo Rosso, in Realmonte
Since you are in Realmonte, we advise you to go have a look at the Capo Rosso, a very nice sandy beach.
On the right side, you can go for a stroll that will take you to a mini-port and rock formations that are ideal for a quick photo session.
Far less busy than Scala dei Turchi, it is also a great place to swim and rest.
And if you have 2 days in the region of Agrigento, the sunset is also beautiful there.
7. Torre Salsa Nature Reserve
About 15 minutes by car from Realmonte, you will reach Siculiana Marina. From there, follow the signposts to Torre Salsa Nature Reserve.
Arriving at the entrance to the reserve, the road turns into a dirt path with numerous ruts for about twenty minutes.
Don’t panic, our car was a small Smart Forfour and we managed to get there by taking some precautions (not too fast!). You will have the impression to go to the end of the world, but you can’t get lost, as there is only a single road!
Be careful though, if it rained the previous days, it’s better to postpone the trip. It can get very muddy and you might not be able to come back up the hill.
Upon 20 minutes, you will arrive on a vast stretch of land which serves as a car park. From there only a 3 minutes’ walk will be necessary to reach Torre Salsa beach.
The beach is really beautiful and stretches for hundreds of meters. It’s really the ideal place to swim in calm and shallow waters!
I strongly recommend you to go there if you have children, to spend a morning or afternoon. It will really be a paradise for them!
Remember to bring a picnic and water, as it’s a nature reserve, there are no restaurants or cafés there. It’s a wild and preserved place.
8. Heraclea Minoa
Heraclea Minoa is another very nice beach to discover by going north after the Torre Salsa nature reserve.
The particularity of this beach is to be surrounded by a pine forest, which provides a little welcoming shade. A good thing if you want to spend a day at the beach with your children.
The view on the cliffs bordering the beach is also worth a look.
The beach is part of an archaeological site, which houses a theatre and remains of an ancient city. Unfortunately they are covered by large protective tarpaulins, so you can’t see much.
Near Agrigento and Heraclea Minoa, don’t hesitate to go discover the seaside town of Sciacca.
Sciacca has many monuments and churches to visit. The must-see are:
- The Cathedral
- The Luna Castle
- The enchanted castle
- The Steripinto Palace
- Santa Margherita Church
- San Salvatore Gate
The reputation of Sciacca is mainly due to its thermal baths which are among Sicily’s most famous. This includes a 56-degree mud bath or steam bath located in the San Calogero natural caves.
These baths are known to be highly therapeutic for respiratory diseases and rheumatism.
10. Punta Bianca Nature Reserve
Punta Bianca nature reserve (Riserva Naturale di Punta Bianca in Italian) is located 40 minutes away from Agrigento. The place is not really known to tourists and the coastline is really nice!
If you have enough time, I will advise to go a little further, up to Castello di Montechiaro (Montechiaro Castle), located by the sea and worth a look!
Bonus: Farm Cultural Park – Agrigento unusual visit
If you like modern art, a nice surprise awaits you in Favara, 20 minutes from Agrigento: The Farm Cultural Park, an open-air cultural center in a part of the city.
It’s well laid out and really unusual, you don’t expect it at all! An interesting “surprise”discovery.
1 day in Agrigento
If you only have one day in Agrigento, you should visit:
- In the morning, visit the valley of temples
- Lunch break in Agrigento
- Take a stroll in Agrigento old town after lunch
- Relaxation and swimming at Scala dei Turchi in the late afternoon
2 days in Agrigento
In 2 days in Agrigento, take the itinerary of the 1st day I mentioned above and add for the second day:
- The tour of the most beautiful beaches around: Capo Rosso in Realmonte, Torre Salsa nature reserve, and/or Heraclea Minoa. Beautiful landscapes, with a bit of swimming and sunbathing. Perfect for a good day!
- If you want to do something else, you can visit the charming town of Sciacca.
This itinerary for the 2nd day can be switched with the 3rd day. It depends on where you will go after during your trip in Sicily!
3 days in Agrigento
During 3 days in Agrigento, you will have time to visit all the points of interest I am talking about in this article.
- It is an opportunity to visit the Punta Bianca nature reserve.
- And the Farm Cultural Park in the town of Favara.
Where to stay in Agrigento
- B&B Sorahnia – Design House: Located a bit away from the heart of Agrigento and 4 km from the Valley of the Temples. Modern double room with terrace from 50€ per night, breakfast included. The strong points: the environment is quiet and close to the center, the very warm welcome and in addition, the exceptional home-made breakfast + a free private parking. It’s the best value for money in Agrigento!
- Colleverde Park Hotel: Located 2 kilometres from the heart of Agrigento and 15 minutes’ walk from the valley of the temples. A classical but bright Double room from 68€ per night, breakfast included. The strong points: the large garden with a view of the temples, Sicilian breakfast.
- Villa Athena Hotel: Luxury hotel located in the heart of the Valley of the temples, 200 meters from the temple of Concorde. A huge double room with a well decorated interior, and a magnificent view of the temples. Starting from 205€ per night, with breakfast at 18€. The strong points: the restaurant with its panoramic terrace overlooking the valley, the exceptional location with private entrance for the valley, luxury and refinement, swimming pool. It’s the best choice for an exceptional stay in Agrigento!
Where to eat in Agrigento
- Kalos restaurant: Located in the heart of Agrigento, 2 steps from the Atenea street. Pure Sicilian traditional dishes with a neat and refined presentation for an affordable price. Homemade pastas and desserts, local products, no doubt you will enjoy it! Remember to book before time.
- La Scala: Located in Atenea Street, in the heart of Agrigento. Well prepared dishes made from fresh products. Seafood-based cuisine, but meat lovers will also enjoy it. Can be a little more expensive than the average in the region, but the quality and quantity are there!
- Siculo: Located on Via Pirandello. This restaurant offers typical Sicilian dishes such as arancini, pizzas or foccacia. Ideal for eating and tasting many small things. The dishes are simple but delicious and the quality/price ratio is very good.
My impressions of Agrigento
During my trip in Sicily, I really enjoyed the region of Agrigento. In 2 or 3 days, it’s very easy to combine visits to historical sites such as the valley of the temples, more cultural visits to churches or palaces and moments of relaxation and swimming on beautiful beaches.
The road network between the sites is well developed, it’s easy to park everywhere and the sites can easily be visited on foot.
We went there in early October and we found the region much less touristic than the eastern side of Sicily. And that’s especially nice to enjoy the holidays!
Sicily travel Guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Sicily guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Sicily guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling in Sicily? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Sicily: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Sicily are listed there.
- Itinerary: 1 week in Sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions! (East coast)
- Itinerary: 10 days in Sicily – with all my best tips + accommodation suggestions! (West coast)