10 days in Sicily – Where can you go, what you can do and see without being overwhelmed by hordes of tourists!

Albeit more synonymous with the mafia, Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean sea, has whole loads to offer to cater to the different needs of individuals, family and friends! Be it history (Romans, Greeks, Normans), culture, architecture, sun and sea, trekking, volcano climbing, cuisine, tandem parachuting, name it and you probably find it! Not having more time to spend on this pretty island may be your only grouse. So, this calls for a return trip!

Here’s a look at the map of Sicily and guess the towns that we went to?

Can you guess which towns in Sicily will be introduced in this article?

We were in Palermo only for a few hours for the transit to Agrigento and for the ferry to Naples. But for that few hours, we probably had the biggest experience of our lives. We almost got pick-pocketed while queuing at the Macdonalds in the bus terminus, we had an old stray dog following us for quite a distance before finally losing him in the crowd, we had to run like mad in the port, trying to find our ferry, only to know almost at the last minute that that was not our ferry, but the other right at the end of the port!!! Imagine the mad and desperate dash we made, before heaving a sigh of relief once on board the ferry.

But there is one gelateria near the AST bus terminus that you should go and eat its super yummy and cheap gelati while waiting for your bus to your next destination.

This gelateria has many flavors of gelati what will spoil you for choice! Only at 1 euro for a small cup that looks like medium! Can you beat that?! Is so good and not sinful at all for the waist!

We arrived in Agrigento, whose ancient name is Akragas, on the southern-west of the island, which is about 2 hours of comfortable bus ride from Palermo.

Mention Agrigento and what normally comes to mind is the Valley of the Greek Temples (Valle dei Templi). I must say that it really is very, very magnificent. The scale of the area on the high grounds that overlooks as far as the eyes could strain, and the state of preservation that reveals the architecture of the temples in doric style extend far beyond our imagination as to how these ancient people had done all these without modern technology? With intelligence and physical level that surpass those of modern humanity, is no wonder that coming to the Temple of the Valley in Agrigento spells contemplation and detachment from this current world, back in time to imagine what life was like then.

Here are some photos to show what I meant.

Bronze sculptures that vie with the nearby columns of the temples to reach for the skies. I like the headless angel.

Temple of Concord in the distance, with a modern bronze sculpture by Igor Mitoraj on display in the foreground. This temple is the most complete of all still standing today.

Admiring the grand splendor of the Temple of Concord, which no one really knows for sure to which divinity it was dedicated to.

Remains of the Temple of Hercules, with its towering columns of 10.07m high

Temple of Juno.. a pity majority of it is already destroyed. The remnants today trying to tell us a story of the lost past.

A cool respite at the sides of Temple of Juno. Look at the huge stone blocks!

Overlooking the surrounding area as far as the eyes could squint under the hot sun. Notice that these places of worship were built on the highest grounds so that they could reach for the sky.

View of the far distance from a vantage point up the hills of Valley of the Temples

Background is the Temple of Hercules

These strange fallen giants, believed to represent Telamon, who rebelled against the Olympic order thereafter being condemned to support the weight of the heavens. In the distance, rise the modern buildings that loom over the ancient Akragas.

Inside the courtyard of Pietro Griffo Archaeological Museum, which used to be a medieval monastery

Well-preserved mosaic flooring at the Archaeological museum near Temple of the Valley

Ekklesiasterion, this auditorium can have about 3000 people. Imagine the lives of the people then! Should be more fun than now!

One thing to note, if you are there during summer, the temperature can soar up to 40 degrees cel. There are  practically non-existent shades, so please have water, sun-block, sun-glasses as well as wear light clothings to prevent heat-stroke.

Stay in one of the many bed-and-breakfast in the modern Agrigento, take a stroll along the lovely pedestrian streets lined by restaurants and shops. In the evening and night, be charmed by the romantic atmosphere when the locals dine under the starry skies along the streets, up the many stairs landings, some hidden behind the buildings.

The train station of Agrigento with good view of the far distance to the Mediterranean sea

Basilica dell'Immacolata at dusk

Agrigento at dusk

Many hidden gems up on the stairs like this in Agrigento. We decided to dine here as it felt so right! Buildings with baroque architecture. So beautiful!

Sense and see the transformation in the night ... romance is in the air! Sitting at a table on the steps, romancing your partner while waiting for the delicious dinner to be served.

My super yummy seafood risotto at affordable price of 9 euros! Simple presentation, but absolutely heavenly! Pity the portion is a little too small since is so nice!

My partner's pasta with local Agrigento flavor... truly unique and I must say it was really worth the wait! Many locals and some tourists patronise here.

Another gem discovery during our exploration after our dinner

Walking down the stairs in the back alleys... you will never know what gems you may stumble upon!

I would recommend a 3 days 2 nights stay over at Agrigento, 1 with a full day visit to the Valley of the Temples and another for the modern town itself.

Stay tuned to the next article on our next recommended destination in Sicily!


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