Home Links Contacts Give us a link
Main Cities
Agrigento Valley of the Temples

A trip to the Valley of the Temples justifies a trip to the Mediterranean coast. Praised by Goethe, the vestiges of these temples and walls of Magna Grecia are listed in the Unesco World Heritage. The temples, because of its position, can be viewed from the sea  and have been since their construction a landmark for seamen. Even though they are in different states of decay you may envisage what a beauty the valley must have been.
The SS118 leads from Agrigento into the Valley of the Temples and separates it into two areas. You can link www.lavalleideitempli.it for more information.
At the entrance where in ancient times used to be the agora today is  the ticket office. Ask about tour guides or the audio guides which are available in English and Italian. Around it are the car park, public toilets, souvenir shop and bar and restaurant. Another entrance is on Via Panoramica off the Temple of Hera.
Crowded and very hot in the summer the site deserves the while. Discovering all its treasures can last a day and a half to leave nothing out.
In the eastern area the first temple to find is the Temple of Hercules which may have been built in the 6th century BC. It is walkable. The 5th century BC Temple of Concord untouched by time is the following temple. It  became a basilica in the 6th century and was given its back splendour in the 18th century. The site is a big draw for the newly weds. The Temple of Hera is located  towards the upwards end of the ridge overlooking the sea. An earthquake in the medieval times destructed the temple in part.
The so called Tomb of Theron, a little temple, was constructed about 75 BC, which means it is not his tomb.
In the western area are the vestiges of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which if finished,  would have been the biggest Doric temple (112m long x 56m wide x 20m high). Carthaginians prisoners had been forced to make its foundations after the Battle of Himera, and the Carthaginians troops sacked it year later. An  earthquake was its coup de grace.
The 5th century Temple of Castor and Pollux was sacked  twice by the Carthaginians and later by an earthquake. What you see today of this not so big temple is a reconstruction made with parts of other temples in the 19th century. The altars and buildings behind the Temple of castor and Pollux may have been the 6th century BC Sanctuary of the Chthonic Deities.
From the entrance the south path will take you to the Temple of Asclepios, which unlike the others  having a colonnade, it features solid walls.
A tour guide is a good way to make the most of a visit to the temples.