Our 3-Day Sicily Itinerary

After spending seven days in Puglia, one day in Matera, and one day in Maratea, we headed to Sicily for three days. Sicily deserves more than three days, especially for us since it is where our family is originally from, but we came to Italy on this trip principally to introduce ourselves to Puglia.

We wanted to stop in Sicily because my son and nephew had never been. We decided to use our short time there to visit two very different places: Taormina and Agrigento.

"Discover the best of Sicily in just 3 days! From the majestic Mount Etna to the charming streets of Taormina, this Italian island has it all. #Sicily #Italy #travelguide"

Visiting Taormina

Taormina is gorgeous but also fancy, shiny, and high-end. It has white sand beaches. It is the Sicily you see in pictures and is visited by cruise ships. In fact, it is the setting of the second season of the series White Lotus.

Read about our time in Taormina.

Three days in Sicily, Italy
View of Mount Etna from the Municipal Garden in Taormina, Sicily

How to Get From Taormina to Agrigento

Driving in Sicily

Why visit Agrigento, Italy
These are views of the Mediterranean Sea from the walking paths at the Valley of the Temples.

During our trip (except our next stop in Malta, where cars drive on the left side of the road), we rented a car. The driving in Puglia and Calabria was calm and not stressful. That wasn’t true about Sicily. Sicilians spend four hours eating dinner but drive like their house is on fire.

And we saw an accident. Every Sicilian man got out of their car. Yes, the whole highway stopped in the middle of the road, blocking the said road, and discussed the accident loudly and with many hand gestures. It was just a fender bender, but no cars moved off the road, and we walked around and took in the scene for about an hour.

A short visit to Sicily, Italy
Dusk over the olive tree-covered landscape of Agrigento. Photo by Luca Italiane-DeCubellis

The trip should have been about 2 1/2 hours without the accident delay. The train ride is about 4 1/2 hours.

If you would rather not deal with getting to Agristento on your own, you can book a day trip from Taormina to the Valley of the Temples. Expect a very long day.

Why We Chose to Visit Agrigento?

A three-day Sicily itinerary
The archeological park has eight temples. Some are intact, and some are ruins of large temple complexes.

Did you know (or have any idea) that Sicily has Greek ruins? Not only does it but they are conveniently located within walking distance from each other and overlook the ocean, so the ruins of Agrigento are a must-see in Sicily! Also, Agrigento is much more gritty Sicily than Taormino, so it is a perfect comparison for the boys to see different sides of Sicily.

Before my visit, I didn’t even realize the Greeks had invaded my Italian homeland of Sicily. But Italy, in general, but especially the south, was constantly being invaded. Ironically, the Romans were invaders of other places, but the country it is now capital of was invaded a lot. The ancient city of Agrigento was one of the Greek’s last colonies on the island.

I love it when I find things I previously didn’t know about on my travels, like our discovery of Europe’s Christ the Redeemer Statue in Maratea.

The Historic Settlement of Agrigento, originally called Akragas, was situated around where the temples sit today. It was settled in 6 BC and was one of the most important Mediterranean cities of its time.

Visiting Valley of the Temples

Must-see spots in Sicily
One of the many Atlases who held up the walls in The Temple of Olympian Zeus, but are now laying on the ground. Photo by Luca Italiane-DeCubellis

The main draw of Agrigento is the Valley of the Temples. It is a collection of eight ancient Greek Doric temples and ruins on a plateau (not a valley) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

You can park at either the east or west end of the rectangular-shaped park. Unless you have researched before you go, I recommend you buy a combo ticket to first visit the archeological museum, which is closer to the east gate. We paid for the audioguide to listen to as we walked through the park. Another option is to take a guided tour.

Plan for at least half a day to explore the temples and the museum. There are lovely paved trails throughout the park, but you will walk on uneven ground and steep paths to get close to some things. The trail is between 2 and 3 miles. One thing I love about this park is that you can walk among most of the ruins.

Valley of the Temples, Agrigento

The park is open late. I suggest visiting in the afternoon so that you can see the temples in daylight, enjoy them with the changing light and sunset, and see them colorfully lit up at night.

That night, we had authentic Sicilian pizza at a restaurant where no one spoke English. Beware that most Sicilian pizza contains tuna, even though the menu omits it- very unique.

After Agrigento, we headed back to Catania, where we turned in our rental car, had one of our best meals of Pasta Norma at Ristorante San Michele, and set off for our last destination, Malta.

Do you think we made good use of our time in Sicily? What are your favorite stops in Sicily?

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