Harrison was very responsive each time I contacted him - even the day we left to travel home. Great service, courtesy call before we left - will definitely use again!
Always amazing service from Cameron - I recommend you guys to everyone
You saved our trip in the face of a total nightmare. Thank you!
Micky Patten was fantastic, super helpful, friendly and efficient. Our holiday was fantastic
Every stage of my trip to the USA was expertly put together. Assistance in place, lovely hotel, all flight seats were aisle, as requested. DialAFlight will be planning my next trip.
Always brilliant, make it all so easy, hence we always come back!
Sarah Hole and her team are fantastic! I so recommend them. They give you confidence
Thanks Adam for the excellent service as always
Thanks to Tara for arranging assistance through Malaga airport for our son in his wheelchair. When we arrived at Malaga airport there was a clearly marked intercom near the entrance to the terminal for disabled passengers. When I used it, the person I spoke to checked our son’s name was on the system, asked us to stay there and within 10 minutes an escort arrived in a buggy to transport the whole party through the airport from check in, through security and straight to the gate. Very impressed!
Neil and his team were all so helpful. We could not have managed the trip without their help. AND they answered the 'phone quicker than any other company that I have had the misfortune to ring in the last 30 months!
Fantastic service as always, especially Troy
Always excellent service
Sean Furnival was his usual outstanding self
Paul Jones and his team are excellent. I will be using you guys again for my next holiday.
Lucas is a star! Always gets it right
Paula was brilliant and a credit to your company
Matt Power is a legend
Super-satisfied. Many thanks.
Amelia Beecham looked after our recent Portugal trip. She also booked my Toronto trip earlier in the year. Both trips were fantastic. Accommodation was brilliant. Everything ran smoothly. Amelia was superb!
Have used you guys for several years and would not consider using anybody else. Brilliant all the way.
Efficient and informative. Would highly recommend
Bruce was always available and dealt with any queries immediately. He also contacted us before travel to wish us a happy holiday
Very informative - lots of updates. Very helpful and friendly - would definitely recommend Danny Sharma.
Everything went according to plan. Thank you so much Patrick
Perfect service as always
Fantastic service from start to finish! We had an amazing holiday
Very responsive from the outset; quick to provide documents and responses to questions. Would definitely recommend. Thanks to Teddy and Les for making it all run smoothly
I will certainly use you again! Thank you so much
Ed was so professional and friendly. Would never book with anyone else.
I thought the pre holiday attention was great and given the amount of variables involved in my trip to several Greek Islands - logistically it was great. I would say there was some inconsistencies in hotel qualities though as the only caviat. But I appreciate it was a fairly tricky itinerary and was overall a fantastic holiday
Vassilis was born in a boat.
His mother was trying to make it from her home on the island of Ammouliani only a mile across the Aegean to the mainland, but she was too late.
And so a boy came into this world at sea, and there was only one life he was fated to live.
Today, tall and bronzed, like a warrior from the legions of Alexander the Great, Vassilis is at the wheel of a speedboat thrumming across the sparkling seas off the Mount Athos peninsula in north-eastern Greece.
As we fly along like a turbo-charged bronco, dolphins breach the surface and plunge below, and then a sea turtle, almost 5ft long, slides alongside.
Vassilis's eyes instinctively scan the water - and then he shouts with delight. The man who has sailed these waters all his life hasn't seen a turtle here in 25 years.
Vassilis is the boatman at the Eagles Palace, a long-established family hotel designed to look a little like one of the many monasteries further along the coast.
It's 90 minutes' drive from the airport at Thessaloniki along a road that meanders through olive groves and low-lying wooded valleys into a corner of Greece that's a world away from the fleshpots of the party islands far to the south. We were afforded the warmest of welcomes.
Set on tumbling levels down to its own beach, the hotel is a labyrinth of terrace restaurants (serving food and wine from local farms, vineyards and its very own olive grove), cooling courtyards, beach bars and a large saltwater pool.
The beach itself shelves gently into water, which is astonishingly clear because the Aegean sweeps into the bay and then out again every 20 minutes.
There is a kids' club, probably more suited to younger children than our son, Mike, 11, and daughter Alice, seven.
Pavlos is the man if you want to take out a sea kayak or do some light paddle-boarding or more strenuous mountain-biking.
Unlike most dudes you meet at a watersports hut, he's got an MBA from New York — oh, and he runs ultra-marathons, too. He does a brilliant job of shepherding Mike on his first sea kayak outing, helping him steer his boat nimbly around rocks jutting from the sea bed.
Pavlos has just introduced a specialist course for children, which will see them developing their skills on the water as the week goes on.
If Pavlos is the urbane young face of adventure sports, Mr Dinos, the watersports supremo, is the salty sea dog who looks as though he might have sailed in his youth with Odysseus. Crinkly blue eyes smile out from under his weather-beaten cap as he waves his walnut arm and asks: 'What will it be today?'
Somewhat more costly adrenaline watersports include parasailing (70 euros for two people for ten minutes) and jet-skiing (50 euros for quarter of an hour). But, hey, you're on holiday.
While Alice yells to go faster on the jet ski, Mike chooses the more sedate but vertiginous thrills of parasailing.
As he is winched up into the piercing blue sky attached to a harness in front of his nervous mum, his face cracks into a huge grin and, despite his legs jiggling around like a demented frog, he calls it the 'best fun ever'.
This area of Greece is known for its astonishing panoply of monasteries.
Prince Charles is a regular visitor, spending time in the company of the monks in the Simonos Petras monastery, which crouches on top of a rock high above the sea.
Such is said to be Charles's fascination with the Greek Orthodox religion that he has installed Byzantine art in his Highgrove garden. Far above the twinkling domes, on the peak of Mount Athos itself, sits a stone building.
Who would build a chapel on top of a mountain 6,000ft high?, I wonder out loud.
'They have faith,' Vassilis tells me.
Then he recounts the story of the monk who tumbled over a cliff and plunged 150 metres. Surely, his fellows thought, he is dead. But he dusted himself off and trundled back up the hill. Miraculous, you might say.
One morning, Pavlos takes us boys on bikes into the town of Ouranoupoli - where an ancient watchtower stands sentinel above seafront tavernas - then we head out along a gravel track. Here, trees heavy with wild figs strain over the roadside and olive trees offer dappled corners of shade.
And at the end of the path? A monastery which is probably 10th-century, and the first of all those built along this peninsula.
It is a reminder of the history that seeps through the earth in this land — and courses through the veins of Vassilis and the other descendants of the ancients who shaped this Greek marvel.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - July 2015
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