It is hard imagine a more perfect setting than staying next door to the Valley of the Temples (Valle dei Templi) in Agrigento, Sicily. The Temples are indeed magical. The Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located on ridge just outside the city of Agrigento. Once the site of the Greek city Akargas it includes the remains of seven temples. It is one of the best examples of Greater Greek art and architecture. The beauty and magic of this archaeological site just might absolutely spoil you big time. Now, let’s imagine staying next door to the Valle dei Templi.
Look! There are Greek temples next door
It was a pleasant drive from Zafferana Etnea to Agrigento. Right from the moment we entered the gates at Villa Athena it was indeed special. Moreover, when we checked in we were delighted to discover that our room overlooked the ruins. It is not everyday that you get to sleep with a view of Greek ruins from your bedroom window. Those magical moments were due in part to the fact that we stayed at Hotel Villa Athena. During our travels through Sicily we stayed mostly at B&B’s. However, given the opportunity to stay next door to the Valley of the Temples archaeological site how could you pass up that opportunity.
Dining near the temples
Lunch on the day we arrived was special. We dined at the patio restaurant, La Terrazza Degli Dei (The Terrace Gods), with views of Temples Concordia and Juno. There amid the almond and olive trees, with such a stunning view our lunch began with a dry rosé wine.
We ordered a caprese salad to share. We followed this by vegetable soup and eggplant pasta. Dining on the patio of La Terrazza Degli Dei overlooking the Valley of the Temples was indeed majestic. It was not a difficult decision to return later during our stay for lunch. After all caprese salad for lunch is hard to pass up. Dining at La Terrazza Degli Dei was indeed, like dining with “the gods“.
Hotel Villa Athena has another restaurant, Granaio di Ibla. During our stay we had dined there one evening. Our cheese appetizer choice was perfect. For main dishes we selected pasta and rack of lamb dishes. Both were delicious. We also selected a chocolate dessert to share.
There are no words to describe what it feels like to stay next door with views of the temples. During the night the views of Temples Concordia and Juno from our bedroom window were stunning. To be able to view the temples from your bedroom window was so special. Especially being able to view the temples at night, or in the early morning, were indeed magical moments. I still remember seeing Juno Temple in the early morning the day we left.
When we toured the Valley of the Temples there were some awesome views of Villa Athena and the city of Agrigento. From the temple grounds you can also see vineyards nearby.
Hotel Villa Athena is an ideal location to stay while visiting the Valley of the Temples. Yes, it was hard to leave such a special place. The morning after a delightful three-day stay in Agrigento we boarded our rented car and traveled across Sicily to Cefalú. Cefalú was where we would spend the weekend before boarding a flight back to France. Our November two-week exploration of Sicily (Palermo-Ortigia, Siracusa-Zafferana, Etnea-Agrigento-Cefalú-Palermo) was amazing. You can check out my travels in Sicily and elsewhere at Spaswinefood, or visit my travel column at the Examiner.
© Sharon Parsons
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