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Stan Castle has been excellent and I will be booking again with him for our next trip very soon!
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We couldn't have wished for a better service. We were looked after incredibly well every step of the way by Daniel Webb. Our resort was beautiful, the transfers were managed well and we couldn't have wished for a better holiday. As regular customers of DialAFlight, we know we can always rely on you to provide a great service and lots of helpful advice.
Once again, perfect service.
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Thank you Claire and your team for helping us find an amazing holiday in Mauritius especially with all the last minute tweaks and changes we threw at you! DialAFlight made the experience smooth and stress free from beginning to end. Looking forward to our next adventure
Zoe was awesome. And anyone I have dealt with in the past has also been awesome. Always attentive and great at answering any questions. Unbeatable on price. I have already recommended to friends who are now your clients.
Nothing less than perfect from start to finish. As usual, Craig Paul ensured we had the best service. Would never use anyone else and most certainly recommend regularly.
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Justin was fabulous- personal touch, great communication - absolutely brilliant service
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We had an amazing holiday. Everything was as promised and you took away so much of the stress in planning and organising. Will definitely be coming back to you in future
Easiest holiday ever booked. Timings, flights, transfers and accommodation brilliant!
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We are so happy with excellent service from Liam Rush. He is so helpful. We had a great holiday and definitely recommend to our friends.
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We have already recommended you to our friends and will use DialAFlight again. Brodie Letchfield was most helpful and an excellent asset to your company.
The best and only travel agent I use. Always a great deal, great service and very competitive. My agent is the best !
Perfect handling of my holiday from start to finish. Thanks again Ross for all you do.
We are always happy with the service that we receive from DialAFlight
We're sitting in a balcony restaurant in the Old Town, with views over the ramparts to the becalmed Indian Ocean beyond. It's our first night.
'Ah, wonderful,' says an Englishwoman, emerging from the stairs below.
'I was up at 5am swimming with sea turtles just off Galle Fort. You should try it. What a way to see the sun come up.
'Watch out for the snake-charmers on the harbour walls and the thrill-seekers hurling themselves off the rocks.
'I'm Juliet Coombe, by the way.'
It turns out she's lived here since 2004, so we listen up.
'This island has really changed since I first arrived,' says Juliet. 'It's become like St Tropez. You're in for a treat.'
I first came here eight years ago, and now, with its jewellery shops, cocktail bars, ornamental Buddha statues and lounge music, Galle has completed its transition from hippy backpacker town to a boho-chic enclave.
Bang in the middle of the fort (but still only five minutes' walk from the sea) is our hotel, The Fort Printers.
It's an engaging modernised 18th-century colonial mansion, which was a private school during Dutch rule, so all the rooms have scholarly names: The Headmaster's, The Prefect's, History and Geography.
The rooms are elegant and spacious, and the Frangipani tree overhanging the pool means the water is covered in white flowers.
Breakfast is a treat — traditional Ceylon tea, fresh fruit and buffalo curd every morning.
Or you can have bowls of fresh fish curry.
Five minutes away is Amangalla, the most famous hotel in Galle (part of the ritzy Aman Group), with 130 staff and its own library, private swimming pool with individual cabanas and a magical garden. We eat famously here.
The whole set-up oozes colonial decadence.
Galle Fort is a UNESCO heritage site, so it's bound to attract the crowds.
But travel ten minutes beyond the walls in a tuk-tuk (a mechanised rickshaw) and you can watch local fishermen sell their wares with ruthless efficiency.
Galle cricket ground is a joy, and try the escorted bike rides through local villages behind Dalawella Beach with British-owned start-up company Idle Bikes (fifteen minutes away from Galle by tuk-tuk).
For 2,000 rupees (£10) per person you get a guided cycle tour through quiet paddy fields, a bird sanctuary, cinnamon and banana tree allotments, and past open fires where wives cook curry.
Immaculately dressed schoolchildren wave and Buddhist shrines enchant.
Best time to go is dusk or early morning. Grab a drink at Wijaya Beach Restaurant afterwards.
Our guide, Kingsley, drives us to Balapitiya Boat Safari — where we take a tour of 64 tiny islands in an enormous inland lake near Bentota.
This is a wonderful way to see Sri Lanka's wildlife: baby crocodiles, fruit bats, monitor lizards, monkeys, and even a brief stop-off at a cinnamon-growing island and a Buddhist temple.
You can get a personal boat for two hours for 6,000 rupees (£30).
And make sure you dangle your feet in the local fishing nets for a genuine fish pedicure.
On our way back to Galle, we swing past The Bentota Turtle Hatchery to see the famous snow white albino turtle ('One in a million, just like Michael Jackson,' jokes Kingsley) and watch the 24-hour old baby turtles being guided back to the sea under the cover of darkness, protected by the wardens.
After a few days, we drive three hours east along the spectacular southern coastal road for one night at Coco Tangalla — a pretty boutique beach villa with four rooms overlooking Tangalla Bay.
It's wilder here and less touristy, and the enormous palm trees and ocean breeze make it feel like Hawaii.
Our final hotel is Ellerton, seven hours drive north from Tangalle (and 2,400ft above sea level), set in the spectacular tea plantations above Kandy.
It's a long drive, but you won't regret it.
It is owned by a British couple, Richard and Cary Goode, and the gardens are immaculately kept in eight acres of what used to be a colonial tea estate.
Bicycle rides, bird-watching from the balconies, tea-tasting and home cooked food make this an excellent choice for adventurous couples and the artistic crowd (Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer, stayed here last year), especially if you like painting, drawing or just gazing through your binoculars at the Alagalla mountains.
It also offers easy access to Kandy's Temple of the Tooth (containing the relic of the tooth of Buddha) and botanical gardens, 30 minutes away.
Sri Lanka has come out of the shadows of civil war and political unrest.
Last year marked the tenth anniversary of the devastating Tsunami and a new president was elected in January. Optimism is in the air — and rightly so.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - October 2015
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