In the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ‘To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.’

Marvel at the Monreale cathedral, visit the Temple of Zeus in Agrigento and enjoy panoramic views of Mount Etna, just some of the highlights of Classic Sicily and Secret Sicily two of Travelsphere’s most popular tours to the Mediterranean’s largest Island.

BBC2 will be focusing on the island on Tuesday, 31st January with Sicily: The Wonder of the Mediterranean, where Michael Scott will be discovering how its identity has been shaped by history.

During the Classic Sicily tour the sights come thick and fast starting with the fascinating town of Taormina. Perched on a clifftop and overlooking two sweeping bays, this lively town’s thriving contemporary culture is perfectly complemented by its well-preserved ancient past.

As Europe’s most imposing volcano, Mount Etna is without a doubt Sicily’s most famous attraction. Travelsphere’s adventurers have the option to visit the volcano by cable car, or for those that want to go that extra step there is a thrilling journey higher up Mount Etna in a 4x4 vehicle.

Classic Sicily has quickly become one of our top selling tours of the year so far, the included highlights of this holiday are absolutely breathtaking, from the clifftop town of Taormina to the pretty fishing port of Cefalù. In addition to the sights, we stay in two wonderful four-star hotels so our Travelsphere guests can take time to relax and reflect on all that they have seen each day,” said Alessandra Mozo, Travelsphere’s Destination Expert.

At the halfway point of the tour the Roman Villa del Casale awaits. Built in the first quarter of the 4th century and close to the town of Piazza Armerina, the site boasts the richest, largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world.

Travelsphere’s local guide brings to life the UNESCO-listed Palermo, Sicily’s vibrant capital and a city with a wealth of architecture – ranging in style from Arabic to art nouveau. The day in Palermo also includes a visit to the beautiful Monreale cathedral, with its Romanesque cloisters and glittering Byzantine mosaics.

As featured on Rick Stein’s recent Long Weekends, the food of Sicily is a true melting pot of flavours and a stroll through a local market is the perfect introduction. Refreshing granitas, indulgent, creamy cannolo and the rich chocolate of Modica will all appeal to a sweet tooth. But just as irresistible is arancini, delicious deep-fried rice balls, and pasta alla norma, an aromatic combination of tomatoes, aubergine, mozzarella and basil. A glass of golden Marsala wine is the perfect finale to a magical day.

Classic Sicily is an eight-day tour with prices starting from £899 per person.

“For fans of the Montalbano detective series, our Secret Sicily tour takes in a number of the filming locations made famous by the television adaption of the Andrea Camilleri novels,” added Alessandra.

Highlights of the Secret Sicily tour include the former fishing village of Marzamemi, whose large piazza is just a few steps from a lovely stretch of sandy beach, and Puntasecca, the fictional ‘Marinella’ in the TV series, where Montalbano’s beach house stands. There is also a visit to the UNESCO-listed town of Scicli, which is framed by cliffs and boasts wonderful Baroque architecture.

Secret Sicily is also an eight-day tour with prices from £1,119

Travelsphere continues to expand the number of tours it offers, currently spanning 78 countries from the Galapagos Islands to Japan and New Zealand to Norway.

Travelsphere holidays include scheduled flights – many from regional airports, all overseas transfers, accommodation, 24-hour helpline available seven days a week and the services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager and local guide.