Located just up the road from the ruins of the Valley of the Temples is the small Sicilian town of Agrigento, offering a stunning setting for your next getaway. A city most famous for being occupied by the Greeks for many years, it was known under Greek occupation as Akragas.
Inside the modern roads, which encircle the town, is a hidden gem of a city, boasting wonderful accommodation, great bars and restaurants. Expect a lively buzz in the evenings along the attractive Via Atenea – the city's main thoroughfare is lined with cafés, shops and historic churches. The real pleasures of visiting Agrigento lies outside the parameters of the city in its ancient ruins – many of which are still being excavated. The most famous relic is the Juno Temple but the entire area is littered with ancient constructions just waiting to be discovered.
Mount Etna is without question the most popular destination on the island and it's easy to see why. This gargantuan volcano is truly impressive and a must-visit when you make a trip to Sicily. There are plenty of ways which you can traverse the mountain; either by foot, bike or even 4x4. In the winter the volcano is subject to snow and is often used for skiing and other winter sports – so plan and pack accordingly. Visiting the famous volcano isn't just about getting to the top – there are plenty of things to see on the way up. Look out for the naturally occurring lava rivers which form after Etna erupts
Catania is one of the biggest cities in Sicily and filled with a vibrant cultural scene consisting of bars, museums, restaurants and world-class restaurants. Piazza del Duomo lies at the centre of the city and is the perfect starting point from which to explore the many historical buildings. The main shopping street, Via Etnea, starts at the square and is home to many of the most opulent buildings that you'll find in Catania. There are many superb beaches around this area of the island as well as lots of small villages, best explored in a vintage car which can be rented from local vendors once you've arrived.
Sciacca is a seaside town a little east of Agrigento which has wonderful views over the Mediterranean Sea. It was founded over a thousand years ago by the Greeks and is known for its thermal spas, perfect for a day trip for some rest and rehabilitation. There are many historical sites too such as the Castle of the Counts Luna and the Church of San Michele.
Explore its churches
The Church of Santo Spirito, a Gothic church constructed back in 1260, is a fascinating place to visit when you're in Agrigento. It connects to a convent and the nuns sell sweets at the altar – all the proceeds go to charitable causes. The cathedral is another religious structure not to be missed. It is situated just off the Piazza Pirandello and has a stunning 11th Century facade. The unfinished bell tower makes for a splendidly kitsch addition to the building and the Baroque decoration is a masterpiece of artistry to be admired.
Visit the Valley of the Temples
The Valley of the Temples is not actually a singular attraction – instead, it is a collection of many relics and ruins which form a larger complex. There is too much to see here and you should pick a few of the sites which interest you the most, rather than trying to see everything in the excavation area. The Temple of Concordia is one of the larger monuments and should be on your list when you visit the area. It was built in around 430 BC and has 6 by 13 columns – each standing almost 7 meters high. Another highlight of the Valley of the Temples is that of Olympian Zeus. There might only be ruins left but this was once the biggest Greek building around. The shape of the temple was truly unique when it was built and you can still see the remnants of the construction today.
Delve into its fascinating history
Pirandello's House Museum is the former home of the famous playwright and has been converted into an informative museum about the artist’s life and works. There is a broad range of artefacts ranging from manuscripts to family photos. The artists requested that he was buried here and there is a small stone marking the place where his ashes have been laid to rest.
Beaches in Agrigento
Scala dei Turchi is a truly unique beach. The curved cliff walls are pure white and give the beach a very distinct feel. The marlstone cliffs are just one great feature of this beach, with golden sands, clear blue waters and very rarely gets crowded. Porto Palo is a more traditional beach, with its long stretches of clean, bright sand and dunes – there's plenty of room to relax in this lovely part of the shoreline.
Due to its seaside location and beside the rolling Sicilian hills, you get the best of both worlds when you dine in Agrigento. They serve fantastic antipasti with packed dishes of anchovies, olives and freshly carved cured meats. Pizza and pasta are of course on the menu but you should really try the fresh fish and delicious meat dishes which are also on offer.
Restaurants in Agrigento
With plenty of places to settle in Agrigento, you’re guaranteed to find a restaurant to suit you. Make the most of moreish local flavours, or sample international cuisine in stylish eateries.
Getting to Agrigento with easyJet holidays couldn't be easier. Simply book your flight and hotel together online and you can even save money in the process. If you fancy a little slice of Sicily this summer then book your trip with easyJet holidays. If Agrigento isn't quite what you're looking for, take a look at other fabulous destinations available in Italy.