Agrigento: Valley of the Temples tour
Step back in time and learn about the lavish lifestyles enjoyed by the Greek elite in the ancient city of Akragas near modern-day Agrigento. A stroll around the extensive ruins of the city reveals the fabulous wealth of those who lived here, the skills of the stonemasons, ceramicists and mosaic workers who built and maintained the city, and the innovative ways in which they planned the city streets and brought water to the site. You can also see the magical gardens used for pleasure and sustenance, learn about the terrifying fate of those who displeased the rulers and figure out why this magnificent city was suddenly abandoned.
Departing from your hotel in Agrigento by car, you will spend the morning exploring the remarkable ruins that make up the Agrigento archaeological complex, known as the Valley of the Temples. This privately guided walking tour is conducted by a local expert guide who will be able to talk you through the fascinating history of the region.
Starting at the top of the valley with your guide, you’ll be able to enjoy a gentle stroll down through the archaeological area, learning about the ruins of what was once the great city of Akragas, founded in 581 BC. Today, the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes a grid of ancient streets as well as the five massive Doric temples from which the valley takes its name.
The two most spectacular temples within the site are the Temple of Concordia and the Temple of Juno. The Temple of Concordia is a colossal structure that offers a real sense of how prosperous and significant Akragas once was. The building is one of the largest and most intact Doric temples in the world. Its proportions and elegantly simple design are largely untouched, despite being converted into a Christian basilica in the 6th century AD.
Nearby, the similar Temple of Juno was damaged by an earthquake in the Middle Ages, but is still fascinating to visit. The oldest surviving temple though, is that of Hercules, which dates from the end of the 6th century BC and sits among a cluster of impressive ruins in the eastern portion of the site.
All in all, the walk through the temple complex covers a distance of around 1 km (just over half a mile) and is predominantly downhill, though we do recommend comfortable and sturdy footwear. During the tour, there will be time to stop for a short coffee or gelato at the café located within the complex and use the restrooms should you wish. Your driver will meet you toward the bottom of the valley at the end of your walk through the site.
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