Akrai and the necropolis of Pantalica are found in the Hyblaean Mountains, an area full of wild flowers and almond trees. Amongst the most significant urban remains of Akrai, a sub-colony of Syracuse, are the basis of a Doric temple, a superb Greek theatre and an acropolis dedicated to Aphrodite. In the nearby quarries, traces of defunct worship that precede the Hellenestic period are visible. Pantalica’s limestone cliffs are riddled with tombs dating back to the Bronze Age. Some of the first colonists lived in huts made of wood, but their ruler lived in a palace on the plateau. The site has been excavated, and part of the foundations of this palace erected in the 12th century B.C.E. can be seen. Numerous catacombs from the Byzantine period are found in the vicinity.
The tour begins with the visit to the ruins of Akrai, which was founded in 664/663 B.C.E to protect one of the key access routes to Syracuse. The most important urban remains include one of the best preserved Greek theatres of Sicily and Southern Italy, a bouleutérion (a chamber where the governing council met), a so-called Aphrodite Temple as well as Latomie (quarries) where a cult of the dead was practiced.
The guided walk continues with a hike along the gorge of Pantalica, whose cliffs are riddled with hundreds of tombs cut into limestone sometime between the 13th and the 7th century B.C.E. Other sites of interest include the Anaktoron (the Prince’s palace), a megalithic edifice built in the 12th century B.C.E., rupestrian churches and Byzantine catacombs.
Rates for this private excursion to Akrai and Pantalica: 1-4 people € 390 / 5-8 people € 420
Tour duration: ca. 7h
Incidentals: admission tickets (€ 4.00) and lunch
For lunch, your guide will be happy to make some recommendations
Contact us to book this archaeologist-led visit of Akrai and the Necropolis of Pantalica, we will let you know about our availability and answer any questions you may have.