The historic Idanre Hills are located in the Idanre LGA which is divided into two: the new settlement (which is at the foot of the hills) and Oke-Idanre (the old settlements on the top of the hills). The steep-sided and dome-shaped hills are a unique sight and ideal for bird watching, picnics and hiking. The Idanre Hills were included on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2007.
Cave of Ashes, Isarun
Located in Isharun-Ile Owuro in the Ifedore LGA, the Cave of Ashes (also known as 'Iho Eleeru') is believed to have been home to ancestors of the people of Iloro who were known for their pottery-making. The cave was first brought to public attention in 1922 by Chief Obele, a hunter who stumbled upon it while out on an expedition. It became even more famous after the discovery of the oldest prehistoric West African skeleton (believed to date to 8000 BC) in it by Professor CharlesThurstan Shawof the University of Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1968, along with fragments of pottery dated to 1000 BC. Parts of the skeleton are kept at the University of Ibadan and Owo Museum of Antiquities while a cast of the skull can be seen at the Natural History Museum in London.
National Museum, Owo
The National Museum in Owo was established in 1968. The museum's collections are ethnographic and archaeological; many of the displayed items were found during digs which took place in the city in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It has a permanent exhibition on the Owo and Yoruba cultures.
National Museum, Akure
The National Museum in Akure was established in 1987 and houses ethnographic collections.
Igbara Oke Petroglphs
The Igbara Oke Petroglyphs - a series of ancient pictorial etchings on a rock outcrop in the Ifedore LGA believed to be oracle symbols - were declared an ancient monument in 1963.
Olowo's Palace, Owo
The palace of the Olowo of Owo (the capital of a city-state between 1400 and 1600) is one of the largest in Africa and features over a hundred courtyards for various ceremonial events. It was recently declared a national monument by the federal government.
The Olokun festival is an annual festival commemorated by the Ilaje people who live along the state's coastline. The people believe the Olokun deity is the goddess of the sea and fertility, as well as of prosperity. The worshippers of Olokun dress in white attire and coat their faces with white chalk (known as 'efun'). The festival features cultural dances and displays.
The Egungun (or masquerade) festival is an important celebration amongst the Yoruba people, who believe that the masked figures represent the spirits of the dead who return annually to reunite with the living. The masquerades are elaborate and possess both human and animals features. The festival is celebrated across Ondo State with music and dance.
This is an annual festival which takes place in Owo. It lasts a total of seventeen days and features a number of ceremonies, including the blessing and introduction of new yams. The festival is in commemoration of the king's wife who turned into a tree while being pursued by the king's slave to return to the palace after her rival violated her taboos in her presence. During the period of celebration, drums are banned in Owo and metal gongs (agogo) are used instead; this is where "Igogo" was derived. The Olowo, who dresses in coral beaded gown during the period, plaits his hair like a woman. The aim of the festival is to encourage greater involvement of the youths of the community into their cultural norm.
According to legends, Orosun was a woman and one of the wives of Olofin Aremitan. Olofin left Ile-Ife and stayed at Akoko land. There, he met Orosun - who was said to be very beautiful - and married her. When Olofin died, she remarried several times. Orosun heard of an assassination plan and fled from the land into the forest of Idanre hills. Her assassins pursued her to her hideout and killed her. The festival is celebrated for a week where the villagers relocate from the present Idanre town to their pre-existing homes in Old Oke-Idanre, where they stay for the duration of the festival.