Excellent service. Phone answered within seconds - NO ansaphone saying high volume of calls etc. Problem with hire car company resolved within about 15 minutes while abroad, absolutely brilliant. Will definitely use again.
Thomas is fantastic and super efficient.
Very helpful nat all times - have always provided us with what we need for our trips
Always excellent especially Nadia
Could not have been better. Very happy with everything from initial phone call to the last minute check to see if I was still fine with everything.
A Big thank you to Jonathan, excellent seats and service.
Another trouble free, well organised trip by the lovely people at DialAFlight so thank you
Kylie always really good from start to finish
Libby and Raphael were great throughout the booking process and when we needed to change the destination they were very helpful and accommodating. When we arrived everything was smooth from transfers to checking in.
Gino and Amy were so helpful! We had to move flights and at one point thought we couldn’t go. The holiday was fab and I will continue to book through DialAFlight. Thanks guys!
Once again an excellent service from Bobby and the DialAFlight team, everything went as planned.
You are the best
Debbie especially has been so helpful and patient as we have moved flights twice after initial booking. Other team members have also been very helpful looking at car hire and answering questions. Would definitely recommend
We have always dealt with Tara, who is not only excellent but also so charming and helpful.
Once again Guy Foskin came up trumps - even arranging an upgrade. Excellent service. My go to holiday company.
Your staff are understanding, friendly, professional and gave me confidence.
Perfect trip, thanks very much for your very knowledgeable advice and guidance.
Brilliant service, thank you
Very well looked after by Stacey, Marshall and Niall. Eleven flights from 5 different airports across Europe, all delivered with absolute ease and clarity. Superb customer service. Will absolutely recommend and will be back. 10/10
Have now used Simon Pitman several times to book holidays and they have all been great. He is very knowledgeable about the places we are going to and the hotels are always superb for quality and service
Michael solved the problem with our flights and hotel quickly and efficiently and checked all was OK before we left
As always great service from DAF
Matt Power excellent as usual! DialAFlight never fails
Perfect as always
Excellent service as usual
Excellent service as always.
Daniel booked an amazing holiday and made it as special as possible. I would never book anywhere else. DialAFlight are the best
Absolutely brilliant selection of hotels selected by Trevor. Thank you.
VERY helpful and friendly. You made booking my holiday stress free. Will definitely be using you again.
Excellent customer service as normal - thank you Adam Sui
A statue on Funchal's quayside of the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has golden boots, hands and groin, the bronze buffed by the touches of adoring fans. I take hold of his right hand and have my photo taken.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player is Madeira's golden boy – the island's airport is named after him and here on the quayside is the CR7 (7 is his shirt number) museum, shop, hotel and café.
You can also have your picture taken inside, where there are models and a computer simulation of the great man, now plying his trade for Juventus in Italy. There are cabinets of fan mail, signed footballs, shirts, boots, medals and trophies. There are also detailed instructions on 'how to score a free kick like Cristiano'. I'm sure it'll come in useful, even to a non-football fan such as myself.
In the museum shop I note that you can buy mini replicas of his golden boot and Ballon d'Or trophies at the knockdown price of €80 per pair. In the hotel my travelling companion Kate is astounded to find that the door handles in the lavatories are shaped like Ronaldo's hands – put your hand in his.
Despite him plainly being the most famous person to come from Madeira, this, we agree, is a step too far.
Until Ronaldo opened his museum of greatness in 2013, the most quirky tourist pastime was being pushed by men in straw hats down the steep streets of Funchal, the capital, in a wicker toboggan.
The Portuguese island, 250 miles north of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic, has been named by the Association of British Travel Agents as one of the 12 hot destinations to watch. In its Travel Trends report, it says: 'The island is increasingly gaining a reputation for adventure and activity holidays, with mountain biking, canyoning and climbing in its dramatic landscapes.'
And indeed a short drive from Funchal we find ourselves surrounded by lush tropical mountains and steep-sided valleys. We decide to leave hiking along the island's irrigation canals, known as levadas, for a longer visit and opt to cover the greatest distance in the shortest time with a four-wheel-drive tour.
Our driver, David, is a talking encyclopaedia, barely drawing breath while pointing out the different types of vegetation on the steep terraced fields as he negotiates numerous tunnels and hairpin bends.
'On the right you see bananas, our main crop. On the left sugar cane, from which we make rum. We use the rum in the traditional poncha cocktails. Oh, look at the waterfalls. Winter is the best time to see them; it's too dry in summer.'
We emerge, slightly shaken, on the north coast. Here you really appreciate the rugged beauty of this small volcanic island. Its red cliffs drop straight into the ocean, occasionally giving way to a narrow beach of black sand. We stop to admire the scenery, and in Santana we stop to admire traditional A-frame cottages, some with thatched roofs.
The skywalk, a glass viewing platform at Cabo Girao in the south, is one of the best places to appreciate the dramatic scenery. In the north, less scarily, we have lunch on the terrace of the Quinta do Furao restaurant in Santana, noted for local delicacies such as garlic limpets, beef kebabs barbecued on laurel skewers, black scabbardfish in banana sauce and sweet potato bread. While we eat we admire one of the most stunning views on the island.
We burn off the calories with a walk in the restaurant's vineyard and lush garden, where there is a huge traditional grape press, the site of harvest celebrations in the summer.
Almost every restaurant we visit produces its own wine. The beachside restaurant of Faja dos Padres in the south is famous for its dark vintage that dates from the 15th century – and its inaccessibility. A cable car transports you down a steep cliff into its vineyard and garden. Mario Fernandes, a winemaker, claims that the soothing sound of the waves, and the classical music he plays while working, helps to improve the taste of his wine.
He tells me that Ronaldo's mother recently used the garden to film an advertisement for Madeiran bananas. 'Maybe it was these bananas that helped to make him so famous,' he says. I immediately eat one.
First published in The Times - April 2019
More articles below...
Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements