South Sicily – Agrigento to Syracuse, Italy (28.04.19)
Although a great trip at any time of year, the coastal road from Agrigento, with its sea view Greek temples, all the way to the old city streets and ancient ruins of Syracuse, is particularly delightful in early spring, with its abundant wildflowers. It combines dramatic coastline, countless ancient historical sites and glittering sapphire beaches.
Whether visiting the region on a short break, or a longer two- or three-week period, you will be drawn in by the combination of ancient sites, changing landscapes and traditional Sicilian culture. Wherever you go, bring your swimmers, as the inviting southern Mediterranean Sea is never far away.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Agrigento has dominated Sicily’s south coast and surrounding area since the 6th century BC. Located on a plateau staring down to the sea it has served as a natural fortification for its inhabitants over the millennia.
It is a fun place to start, offering a mix of impressive historical landmarks, including the magnificent Doric Temples with views across classic Sicilian rural settings. Most iconic are the artefacts and telamon (giant male figures) on the outskirts of town at Museo Archeologico Regionale ‘Pietro Griffo’.
Once you peel yourself away from the shoreline’s Valley of the Temples and nearby collection of picturesque beaches, the journey eastwards towards Syracuse takes you to the impressive ancient Greek fortifications at Gela and down to the most southerly beaches of Sicily. Here you will want to slow the pace to fully appreciate the charming beach at Pozzallo and nearby Cabrera and Punta Secca, with their classic Mediterranean villages and crystal-clear coastal waters.
Ready and waiting, Syracuse is one the island’s real gems. Boasting ancient Greek ruins, lush orchards, fresh food markets, baroque piazzas, twisting medieval roadways and the chic town area of Ortgia.
It’s a magic destination to hole up in, with honey-hued architecture, traditional hideouts and a carpet of pristine blue seascapes that stretch across to the distant shores of Africa.