Valley of the Temples (Agrigento): The definitive guide

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How to visit the Valley of The Temples (Agrigento – Sicily)

You’re planning to visit the Valley of the Temples during your next trip to Sicily?

Excellent idea!

This UNESCO World heritage site is especially famous for its well preserved Doric temples dedicated to Greek divinities. Over the centuries, the Valley of the Temples has been a source of inspiration for many poets, philosophers and painters.

Along with Selinunte Temples and Segesta temple, it’s clearly one of the must-see archaeological parks in Sicily.

In order to help you plan your visit, I have prepared for you this definitive guide of the Valley of The Temples, with all my best tips.

Where to stay, how to get there, where to park your car, the best things to do around… It’s simple, you will know everything to enjoy your stay.

And to make you save some time, you will even be able to book your tickets in advance in this article.

Let’s plan your trip to Agrigento Valley of The Temples!

Valley of the Temple: Sicily’s most famous archaeological site

How to visit the Valley of the Temples?

As the Valley of the Temples is a quite large site, there are 2 entrances:

  • The porta Quinta (West of the Valley – Closest to Realmonte town)
  • The entrance next to Juno Temple (East of the Valley)

Technically, it doesn’t matter from where you start your visit, however, when I visited, I started from the Porta Quinta entrance and I would suggest you to do the same.

If you start from there, you will see the best preserved temples last. It’s in my opinion the best way to enjoy your visit!

The valley of the Temples is open all year round, from 8:30 to 19:00. The last entry is 1 hour before closing time.

The entrance ticket costs 12€ per person. Entrance is free of charge for European citizens under 18 years old and at a discounted rate of -50% for Europeans between 18 and 25 years old.

If you also want to visit Agrigento archaeological museum (also located in the Valley of the Temples), you can buy a combined ticket for 15.50€. It’s cheaper than buying tickets separately.

As ta lot of people wants to visit the site, you should really buy a skip the ticket to visit the Valley of the Temples. This will save you from waiting in the heat! This ticket also includes admission to the Regional Archaeological Museum of Agrigento, and it costs only 15€.

To buy it, simply click on the button below:

And if you want to learn more about the site’s history, you can get a skip the line ticket with an audio guide. It needs to be booked here.

You can also do a guided visit with a certified guide and rent electric scooters for your visit. I will explain you everything in details a bit further down in this article.

Unlike in other sites in Sicily, the map of the Valley of the Temples is not provided free of charge. You will have to pay 1€ to get it (I give you the digital version at the end of the article😊). It’s available for purchase in the souvenir shop, located behind the ticket office.

Now you’re ready to start your visit of Agrigento Valley of The Temples!

valley of the Temples Agrigento
The best preserved temple in the valley of the Temples

Let’s start with a bit of history.

The origin of the valley dates back to the 6th century BC, when the Greek settlers, who had first settled in Gela (South of Agrigento), decided to go back a bit more inland in order to counter Selinunte’s attempts to expand. The land in the valley was very fertile, and favourable for cereal cultivation, so the place was perfect.

The Greek city of Akragas (Agrigento’s ancient name) then experienced a period of economic prosperity. The famous temples were erected during this period and as you know, they still contribute to the place’s fame centuries later!

Unfortunately, many cities were envious of this success. In 406 BC, the city was attacked by the Carthaginians. The 8-month siege ended up with the Carthaginians victory and all residents were killed or displaced.

After a quieter period, Akragas was forced to join the Carthaginians in the war against the Romans. The city was defeated in 210 BC and The Valley of the Temples was then gradually abandoned.

Today, the valley is a magnificent archaeological park of nearly 1,300 hectares.

During your visit, you will be able to admire 8 temples, all built between 510 and 430 BC.

  • Hera Temple (or Juno Temple), dedicated to Zeus’ wife. Burned down by the Carthaginians in 406, it had to be reconstituted.
  • Temple of Concordia, the best preserved temple in the valley. This excellent preservation state is due to the fact that it was consecrated as a Christian basilica in the 6th century AD. It has therefore been relatively protected.
  • Temple of Heracles, the oldest temple on the site of which only 8 columns remain.
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus: it was destroyed by the Carthaginians before being completed
  • Temple of the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux)
  • Temple of Hephaestus
  • Temple of Demeter
  • Temple of Asclepius (God of Medicine) used to welcome the sick.

In addition to the temples, there are also Greek and Roman necropolises, residential areas, the tomb of Theron, and many other remains.

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 goes from 1 entrance to the other and cost 3€ one way.

There is no shade in the archaeological park, so don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen. There is however a restaurant if you want to buy drinks or have lunch in the Valley of the Temples.

Valley of The Temples fallen Icarus statue
The temple of Concordia, in Agrigento Valley of The Temples

Agrigento Regional Archaeological Museum

Agrigento Regional archaeological museum is located on a hill, in the middle of the Valley of The Temples archaeological park. You can access it viat the cloister of the ancient Cistercian abbey of San Nicola.

The entrance ticket costs 8€, however, as I told you a bit earlier, you can purchase a combined ticket to visit the Valley + the museum. Instead of paying 12€ + 8€ (20€), it will only cost you 15.50€ per person

And don’t forget that if you have already bought your skip the line ticket in advance using the link I gave you earlier,  the museum entrance is included!

Here are Agrigento Regional archaeological museum opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday from 9h to 19h
  • Monday and Sunday, morning only – 9h to 13h

In the museum, you can admire remains found on Agrigento Valley of the Temples site. The visit will allow you to know more about the city’s history.

Inside the museum, don’t miss:

  • The marble statue of the Agrigento ephebe 
  • The Telamon, the first known representation of a human being in a temple
  • The collection of antique vases
  • Greek and Roman sarcophagi.
Agrigento temple
Remains of a temple in the Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples Guided Visit

In the Valley, there isn’t many explanatory panels, so if you want to learn more about this exceptionnal archaeological site, the best is to opt for a guided visit.

There are several types of guided visits available:

  • A private guided visit (needs to be booked in advance)
  • A group guided visit starting from your hotel (needs to be booked in advance too)
  • A group guided visit starting from the Temple of Juno ticket office.

There is also another option, which is in my opinion, the best: A guided visit of the Valley of the Temples at sunrise!

It’s for sure the best guided visit, you will discover the magnificent temples in the morning light with your guide, before the official opening! You will also attend a private itinerant show: Gods and Heroes at the Valley of the Temples.

To book your guided visit of the Valley of the Temples at sunrise, you just have to click the button below:

Temple de la Concorde Vallee des temples
Le temple de la Concorde, situé dans la vallée des temples d’Agrigente

Guided visit of the Valley of the Temples by Electric Scooter

What about a fun way to visit this archaeological site?

I have got what you need!

You can now do a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples by electric scooter, and it’s really awesome! It’s super easy to drive, your guide will take you everywhere while answering any questions you might have about the archaeological site.

You will for sure have a lot of fun!

This guided visit needs to be booked in advance, as there are not many electric scooters available. To book it, simply click the button below:

Visit the Valley of the Temples by night

Since a few years, you can also visit the Valley of the Temples by night.

You can only do it in Summer, from July to September. The site is open from 8pm to 11pm during the week and 8pm to midnight on weekends. The price stays the same: 12€ per person.

During this visit, you will admire the temples at sunset and then illuminated at night. The mood is really unique!

Visit the Valley of the Temples as a day trip from Palermo or Catania

If you want, it’s also possible to visit the Valley of the Temples as an organised day trip from Palermo or Catania

They will come pick you up at your hotel and take you to Agrigento and the Valley of The Temples.

You need to book these day trips in advance by clicking on the buttons below.

Here is the excursion from Palermo:

And from Catania:

visiter Vallee des Temples
Visiter la Vallée des Temples, de jour ou de nuit, tout aussi magnifique !

Valley of the Temples parking

You will find parkings at the 2 entrances of the Valley of the Temples.

They are quite big, but start to be full in the middle of the day during high season, so it’s another good reason to arrive early in the morning!

They are paid parking, and the maximum rate for a car is 5€ per day.

How much time to visit Agrigento Valley of the Temples?

The archaeological site is quite big, so if you want to visit everything including the museum, 2h30 is a minimum.

If you are bored of walking or if you don’t have much time, don’t hesitate to take the tourist train shuttle (3€ one way) that goes from 1 entrance to the other.

As I told you a bit before, the best is to visit the Valley of the Temples early in the morning, it will be less hot and the tourist buses will not be here yet. The end of the afternoon is also a good option.

During the day, it’s really hot in summer, and as there is no shade, the visit can be quite tiring.

Valley of the Temples Sicily
Remains of the Valley of the Temples, in Sicily

The 2 Best things to do around the Valley of the Temples

Visit Agrigento old town

Agrigento old town is located at only 10 minutes by car from the Valley of the Temples.

It will take you about 1h

You can follow a route of about 1 hour (for the quick version) to see all the main historical monuments of the city.

Start on Atenea Street, the main street that crosses the historic center. Signs will then guide you through the monuments to be seen.

Don’t miss the monastery of the Holy Spirit, the Cathedral of San Gerlando and the Episcopal Palace.

If you want more details about the best things to do in Agrigento, you should read my article: Visit Agrigento – the definitive guide.

The Scala dei Turchi

The Scala dei Turchi (“stairs of the Turks”) is located in Realmonte, close to the Valley of the Temples. It’s for sure one of the best place to visit during your trip to Sicily!

The place is famous for its white limestone cliff plunging steeply into the turquoise and translucent water below.

If you want to take nice pictures, you should really go there at sunset, it’s beautiful!

Scala dei turchi
The Scala dei turchi

Where to stay near the Valley of the Temples?

  • 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!

How to get to the Valley of the Temples?

  • From Palermo (North West of Sicily): around 2h20 by car
  • From Catania: 2h10 by car
  • From Modica (South of Sicily): about 2h30 driving  to reach the Valley
  • From Enna (center of Sicily): 1h40 by car to reach Agrigento

Agrigento Valley of the Temples map

Here is a map of the Valley of the temples with all the temples and remains to see + the entrances. It’s being sold for 1€ at the tourist shop of the Valley. There is no free map.

Valley of the Temples map
Valley of the Temples map

And you, are you going to visit the Valley of the Temples during your trip to Sicily?

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Valley of the Temples Sicily
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Valley of the Temples (Agrigento): The definitive guide
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Vincent

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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