Planning a Palermo to Agrigento day trip is one of the top things on many visitors to Sicily’s to-do lists. Known for being home to the incredible Valley of the Temples, Agrigento is a beautiful place to visit and the area has even more to offer than the ancient temples at the archaeological site.
It’s no secret that Sicily is home to some incredible ancient Greek and Roman ruins — from the theatre in Taormina to the sites at Segesta and Selinunte — there are so many fascinating structures to take in on this Italian island. However, there is none that is more famous than the Valley of the Temples located just outside of the town of Agrigento.
Situated on the south coast of Sicily, Agrigento makes for a good day trip from Sicily, but the beautiful area surrounding is great to explore for more than a day if you can spare. And whether you want to visit Agrigento on an organised tour or independently, this is the guide for you.
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How to Get to Agrigento from Palermo
Agrigento is located about 130 kilometres away from Palermo and, while it is a bit of a trek from the Sicilian capital, it is definitely doable as a day trip.
You can easily visit Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples independently, but if that is too much stress on your Sicilian holiday, there are plenty of organised tours from Palermo, as well.
It’s worth noting that Agrigento is located a bit closer to Palermo than it is to Sicily’s second-largest city of Catania, however, it is also possible to do a Catania to Agrigento day trip, as well. Just note that travel times will be increased a bit.
By Organised Tour
For those who don’t want to deal with the logistics, planning and hassle of going on an Agrigento day trip independently, then your best bet is to go by organised tour. As one of the top day trips from the Sicilian capital, there are countless options available to those who decide to go for this route.
For example, this full-day tour and this full-day tour are excellent options if you want to spend the whole day exploring some of the top sites in Southern Sicily. It includes transport to and from Palermo, a guided tour of the Valley of the Temples and a stop at the Villa Romana del Casale.
If you simply want an easy transfer to Agrigento, then this full-day tour from Palermo is an excellent option. It includes transport to and from Palermo and will take you directly to the Valley of the Temples. You can also opt for a guided tour of the site if that interests you.
Alternatively, you can also take a private tour if you prefer to join an organised group.
If you want to visit Agrigento independently, then by far the easiest way to do this is via your own personal vehicle. Renting a car in Sicily is an excellent option if you want to venture to places that are a bit further afield and you can find good deals for car hires on Rentalcars.com.
The drive from Palermo to Agrigento is about 2 hours and it is pretty straightforward. Once at the Valley of the Temples, there is ample parking available at the archaeological site.
Having your own car makes it much easier to follow the rest of this itinerary, as well, but keep in mind that finding parking near the Scala dei Turchi can get tricky in the high season due to the sheer demand of the place.
If you want to go independently but aren’t keen to hire a car, then getting to Agrigento via train is going to be your best bet. Countless daily trains from Palermo to Agrigento will get you to your destination in about 2 hours. You can view schedules here.
Make sure you get off at Agrigento Centrale station rather than Agrigento Bassa station if you want to easily make it to the Valley of the Temples.
Once you arrive in Agrigento, you can then take local bus number 1 or 2 from the central station directly to the Valley of the Temples. You can purchase tickets directly from the driver and it is a good idea to ensure you have a bit of cash on hand to do this.
If you’re more interested in visiting Agrigento via bus, you are going to find that relatively difficult. There are no consistent coaches that run from Palermo to Agrigento so your best bet is to take the train. Regional trains are affordable so this is a great way to reach the famed archaeological site.
Agrigento Day Trip Itinerary
If you’re travelling independently and with your own car, then follow this itinerary to get the most out of Agrigento and its surrounding area.
Though the two may seem to be synonymous, there isn’t much in the town of Agrigento itself when it comes to tourist sites. The main draw is, obviously, the Valley of the Temples and some other attractions on the coast nearby.
Valley of the Temples
Of course, the reason to do a day trip to Agrigento from Palermo is to visit the incredible Valley of the Temples. This archaeological site is considered to be one of the best collections of ancient Greek temples in the world and is very much a top attraction in Sicily.
There are countless temples to enjoy and see in this archaeological park and they are all relatively easily accessible via a paved pathway. Contrary to a few other archaeological parks in Sicily (notably Selinunte and Segesta), the Valley of the Temples isn’t quite as hilly and the sites aren’t located too far away from each other.
Keep this in mind as there is a taxi service available for €3 to shuttle you between sites – and the drivers post themselves in the car park before you reach the entrance. They can be pushy and make it seem as if you need to purchase this service in order to experience the park – if you’re able-bodied and are able to walk a few kilometres on relatively even and flat ground, you do not.
Entry into the park is €12 per person if you’re interested in visiting the temples only. There are some combined tickets available if you also want to visit the Regional Museum of Archaeology while visiting. You could also opt to go on a guided tour of the site.
While the site actually contains the remains of seven temples, there are four that are the most intact and worth seeing. The most famous and the one that is considered to be one of the best-preserved Greek temples in the world is the Temple of Concordia, which is truly spectacular.
The other temples worth seeing include the Temple of Heracles (Hercules), the Temple of Dioscuri and the Temple of Juno (Hera). All of these temples were believed to have been constructed in the 5th Century BCE.
Plan to spend a couple of hours exploring the Valley of the Temples and it’s best to head here in the morning – both to beat the crowds and the heat. If you’ve worked up an appetite after exploring this archaeological site, then consider heading to Tipiko restaurant in Agrigento for a delicious sandwich.
Scala dei Turchi
If you’re driving yourself, the next stop on your Palermo to Agrigento should be the beautiful Scala dei Turchi. Translating to the “stairs of the Turks” or “Turkish steps” in English, these are incredible white cliffs that cascade into the Mediterranean off the coast of Realmonte, about fifteen to twenty minutes driving from the Valley of the Temples.
This is an incredibly popular stop to make in the area and it can be very difficult to find parking in order to go down to the cliffs themselves and climb over them.
What we recommend doing is stopping off at the viewpoint to get a good look (the Belvedere – Scala dei Turchi) before heading to our next destination. You won’t get the chance to climb over the cliffs, but you will avoid a significant number of tourist crowds.
End your Agrigento day trip at one of the most beautiful beaches in the region – Lido Rosello. This soft sand beach is the perfect stop and it is a bit off the tourist trail especially considering its location right next to the Scala dei Turchi.
The beach is free to enter and there are free parking areas around, as well. The water is shallow and calm, making it a great place to splash around even if you’re not a strong swimmer!
What makes this beach a fantastic place to visit is that you can get a perfect view of the Scala dei Turchi from below. Simply walk along the beach until you hit some rocks and you will be graced with a gorgeous view with a fraction of the crowds!
Where to Stay Near Agrigento
If you decide to spend the night near Agrigento rather than simply going on a day trip, then you’re going to need to find a place to rest your head. If you’re wondering where to stay near Agrigento, then have a look at these suggestions:
Hotel Exclusive – This hotel located in the centre of Agrigento is an excellent choice for those looking for a clean, convenient and comfortable place to stay while exploring the area. They have several rooms available suitable for both families and couples and there is also breakfast served daily.
Doric Boutique Hotel – If you’re looking for a bit of luxury while visiting this area of Sicily, then this hotel is a great option. They have a great location close to the Valley of the Temples with lovely rooms to choose from and there is a restaurant, bar and spa/wellness centre on site.
A Cantunera LittleHouse – For those looking for their own space while visiting Agrigento are sure to love this two-bedroom house. It is well located to explore the area and it comes fully furnished and well-equipped with everything you may need for a great stay.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Agrigento hotels!
Planning an Agrigento day trip from Palermo is one of the top things to do while visiting Sicily and it’s really not hard to see why. The Valley of the Temples is an incredible place to explore and the area surrounding is absolutely beautiful, as well.
Are you planning to visit Agrigento? Have any questions about visiting? Let us know in the comments!