Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is 79 miles (128 km) from the hilltop town of Agrigento and its well-preserved ancient Greek temples. The easiest way to make the trip, which spans the length of the island from north to south, is by train, taking only two hours.
Driving (either with a private transfer or rental car) is another option, also taking around two hours with no stops. Those visiting the Valley of the Temples can park in one of two designated and guarded lots conveniently located by the ticket offices. Bus routes take a similar amount of time, but depart less frequently.
Duration: 2 hours
Taking the train takes you right from the Palermo Centrale train station in Julius Caesar Square to Agrigento Centrale station located centrally in town. Trenitalia offers numerous trains departing every 1-2 hours from Palermo. For this route, only 2nd-class tickets are available. Tickets booked in advance will be pre-validated—if you purchase a ticket at the station, be sure to validate it before boarding. The earliest train departs Palermo before 6 am and the latest one returns from Agrigento around 8 pm.
Those visiting the Valley of the Temples can book a private transfer from the station, or take one of the frequent local buses from the center of town to the archeological sites. Walking takes roughly 35 minutes, but the path is steep.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 2 hours, more with stops
Major rental car companies abound in Palermo near the airport. Prices can be high (and driving can be overwhelming) in the city, so some opt to take an easy train ride to the laidback beach town of Cefalù, where both Europcar and Avis have locations. You can also book a private transfer, either for this a la carte journey to Agrigento (and back, if you're doing a day trip) or as part of a broader tour.
The most direct route goes directly south via scenic roads SS121 and SS189. Taking only a few minutes longer, roads SS624 and SS115 take you through Sciaccia, another medieval town known historically for its festivals and 5th-century BCE thermal resort. Make sure to stop by Piazza Scandaliato where a picturesque staircase leads up to harbor views. If you want to grab a bite eat in Sciaccia, two good restaurants are Ristorante Le Stranizze or Ristorante Italia.
For recommended stops like the medieval towns of Erice (less than 2-hour drive from Palermo) and Selinunte (1.5 hours from Agrigento), check out Sicily’s West Coast in 7 Days: Fishing Villages, Wineries, and Archaeology.
While many hotels offer complimentary parking in the town of Agrigento, if you are just stopping by for the main attraction at the Valley of the Temples, both ticket offices (at the Temple of Juno and Porta Quinta – Sant’Anna) have easy and affordable parking lots.
Duration: 2 hours
Two different companies run buses from Palermo to Agrigento. Cuffaro offers buses from Pizzetta Cairoli, next to Palermo’s central station, to Piazzetta Rosselli in Agrigento. Buses run every couple of hours during the week, with limited service on weekends. F.lli Camilleri Argento & Lattuca S.r.l. operate a few buses daily, the first leaving from Palermo at 9:15 am, and the latest returning from Agrigento in the early evening.