When taking a walk in the Valley of the Temples, don’t skip its green heart: the Garden of the Kolymbethra. Located right in the middle of the Valley of the Temples, it is one of the most beautiful naturalistic and archaeological sites in the world. In the 5th century BC the site was a lush open-air water reservoir connected to a complex network of underground aqueducts (hypogeum). On request of the reigning tyrant Theron, the architect Phaeax elaborated an innovative water system for the flourishing city of Akragas, which became ever more prosperous and ambitious after the victory over the Carthaginians in 480 BC. The majority of the underground aqueducts drained into the Kolymbethra, “an enormous basin with a perimeter as large as seven stadiums, a depth of twenty fathoms and a nursery with rare flora and plentiful wild fauna” (Diodorus Siculus, 1st century AD).
It would appear that about a century after its creation this fabulous pool was transformed into an underground reservoir and covered with a vegetable garden which was extremely fertile thanks to a sophisticated irrigation system. As incredible as it seems, thanks to FAI, parts of the underground aqueducts are still open and in use and specialized guides accompany visitors through ancient underground tunnels connecting the Kolymbethra to Gate V, passing under the sacred area. Sicily is renowned for its oranges and lemons: over 660 citrus trees, half of which are very rare species, are cultivated in the Garden of the Kolymbethra. Furthermore, the five hectares of the Garden are divided into different zones were olive trees, almond trees, carob trees and Mediterranean scrub create beautiful contrasts and emotions all year round.
In spring one remains enchanted by the intense fragrance of the orange blossoms, in summer the majestic olive trees offer shade and coolness and in autumn it is possible to admire (and taste!) the spectacular abundance of fruits. Visitors can take a rest and enjoy the fresh beauty of the garden in the picnic area under the trees. The Garden of the Kolymbethra is not only important for its botanical abundance and its history, but also for its cultural events. During the summer season the Garden offers an extraordinary scenery for sunset music and evening entertainment such as concerts and theatre performances, accompanied by a glass of local wine and typical Sicilian appetizers. The Garden is also accessible via the historic train of the Valley of the Temples by Fondazione FS Italiane, which goes from Agrigento to Porto Empedocle. A little Eden is awaiting you.
The Garden of the Kolymbethra is within the Valley of the Temples: “Porta V” is the nearest entrance to the Garden.
Then, to visit the Garden it is also necessary to buy ticket to Valley of the Temples.
Guided tours in the garden and group tours in the hypogeum are available on request.
Only during the Kolymbethra’s events is it possible to pass through the entrance of Porta V without first having to pay the entrance ticket to Valley of the Temples.
Open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (March, April and October)
9:30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m. (May, June and September)
9.30 a.m. – 7.30 p.m. (July and August)
10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. (November, December, first week of January and February).
Seasonal closing: 7-31 January
Ticket to the Garden of the Kolymbethra : € 6 per person
Combo Ticket: Valley of the Temples + Garden of the Kolymbethra= € 15
Sicilian residents, university students and accompanied groups: € 4
Children 4-14 years old: €2,00 – Children 0-4 years old and FAI Members: free entry
Ticket to the Hypogeum: € 10 per person if you has pay combo ticket. Otherwise: € 16
Valley of the Temples: contacts for institutional information
Tel. +39 0922621611
Garden of the Kolymbethra: for information, booking guided tours and excursions to the Hypogeum
tel. +39 3351229042
Coop Culture – Ticket Office “Porta V”: contacts for ticket and information
tel. +39 09221839996
The following coordinates indicate the point of interest
N 37° 17' 29.98''
E 13° 34' 55.02''