Agrigento was probably founded in 582 B.C. by Greek immigrants. We had our accomodation in San Leone, a village next to the beach and south of Agrigento. From here,we explored the surroundings.
We didn’t give too much attention to the city itself, as there is nothing spectacular in Agrigento. As we’re little bit of history nerds, we focussed on the Valley of the Temples.
Valle dei Templi
The remainings of the former city of ‘Akragas’ are standing in the Valley of the Temples, one of the most important historic sites in Sicily. There are a few very well preserved Greek temples here, which show the power and the cultural prosperity of the former city.
Besides Syrakus (in the south of the island), it’s Sicily’s second most important Greek town. Best preserved is the ‘Concordia’ temple. In general, it’s one of the best preserved Greek temples in the world.
In the middle of the 18th century, the Valley of the Temples was part of every educational journey to Southern Italy.
It’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1997. But they didn’t start maintaining and repairing before 2005. For more detailed information, we would recommend you to invest in a good travel guide and look at the homepage of the UNESCO.
Scala dei Turchi
The ‘Stairs of the Turks’ is a gigantic rocky cliff formed by marl giving the rock its white colour. The place got its name from Saracen pirates, called the Turks who regularly attacked the island.
The spotless white stairs are very popular, at least to Italians. For the others it’s still a unknown place, I guess. Our travel guide didn’t even mention Scala dei Turchi though it was a new one. I discovered it on Instagram.
If you’re not interested in the temples, these white cliffs might be a reason for you to visit the region.
Actually a not very interesting place. We came here to eat something. You can enjoy tasty sandwiches at the ‘main square’ and eat it while having a fantastic view. And you can watch old Sicilian men talking and spending their time here. Awesome!
The beaches on this side of the island are amazing. You should just drive along the coast and stop here and there. There are a few fantastic bays on the road. I bet in summer these places are totally overcrowded. In May, you can enjoy them on your own, at least during the week.
Furthermore: Not every national park here can be explored easily. You shouldn’t drive in there, if you don’t know something about them. We tried it and our result: A scratched and dirty rental car. Off the beaten path is definitely not always a good idea.