Despite difficult times in Sri Lanka we had a great trip and flights were seamless thanks to Mason.
Josh was amazing - helped me with all my travel details and had lots of patience
Efficient, caring, thoughtful and friendly service as always
Everything worked out perfectly, can't wait until the next time. Thank you.
Tristan was a star
Everything about our holiday was just perfect from the original recommendations to the actual holiday including regular information/ updates. Highly recommend DialAFlight and always use them for our holidays. Excellent service start to finish and brilliant value too!
Vinnie as usual was very helpful. Really appreciate him and all he does. Customer support is spot on
Conrad was extremely helpful and organised an excellent holiday based on our requirements at a reasonable price. Excellent company - we always recommend you.
100% support all the way
Great service from start to finish, always on hand to help with questions or queries
Christian always looks after us well.
Thank you to Claire and team for their professional service sorting our flights out to Sri Lanka. Always on hand for any queries or concerns with a very speedy response
Sadly Sri Lanka is in a very bad place financially. The hotel Club Palm Bay did a wonderful job under the circumstances - a beautiful location, our room had a wonderful double aspect view of the lagoon. Can really recommend this holiday, very peaceful. Hoping to return in November
Have used them for many years and always had excellent care and attention to detail.
Fabulous recommendation for hotel
Had the pleasure of dealing with Ralph. Absolutely tremendous service, provided me with exactly what I asked for, had no issues during the whole trip.
Danny did a fab job, as usual!
Very quick responses to any queries. No bassinet available in business class on Sri Lankan despite confirmation but in fact this was not an issue for us as infant slept at end of flat bed.
As always fantastic service! Thank you Jake and team.
An excellent service
Excellent customer service. Changed a return flight very efficiently and promptly. Excellent company with excellent staff.
Overall very good service. Excellent at answering the phone and responding to requests.
Always efficient friendly service. Will definitely continue to book with DialAFlight
As always a brilliant and professional service which we always use for our holiday flights.
Liam was great
Many thanks Tristan!
As always excellent service from Ben and the team
Tommy was brilliant and so helpful - I will be using DialAFlight again and would strongly recommend them
Noah was very, very helpful
Connie was great - really helpful
Sri Lanka is a destination of glorious, shimmering sandy beaches, enthralling wildlife and relics of ancient civilisations.
Serendip is the island's ancient name, so it can claim to be the spiritual home of serendipity - lucky discoveries by accident - and this is the feeling you get all the time here.
Hoteliers and the rest of the tourist industry on this beautiful teardrop-shaped island are keenly looking forward to welcoming holidaymakers back following the relaxation of Foreign Office warnings about travel to Sri Lanka after the tragic terror attacks at Easter.
On one of my early starts for an excursion, serendipity was seeing dozens of candles flickering in the dense dark outside a Buddhist temple. Then a schoolgirl in brilliant white uniform striding through the dawn mists along a levee between paddy fields, while an equally white egret paced daintily in the water.
Or an old lady, knee-deep in a swamp picking blue water lilies, the national flower. And everywhere, games of impromptu cricket, with a stick for a bat and a plastic drum for a wicket, on bare mud patches, in gardens, on roads.
The island’s unique subspecies of elephants are a vestige of ancient Sri Lanka. You can’t miss them.
My most memorable jumbo encounter was at the Uda Walawe nature reserve.
We watched in awe as an extended family ambled across our track. One juvenile pushed over a tree, just for fun, it seemed. Last across was a harassed young mother, sheltering a three-week-old baby.
You might see 200 elephants at the lake in Minneriya National Park, while the distinguished star in Yala National Park is the ‘prince of the night’ – the leopard.
The nearest thing to cool in Sri Lanka is its green and hilly heart, where tea plantations are a fascinating sight. Kandy, where the British beat the last king of Ceylon in 1815, still feels like a charming, antique outpost of empire.
It is dotted with guesthouses that recall Tunbridge Wells. The colonial throwbacks include a bus station clock that chimes like Big Ben. There are red King George V post boxes and immaculate old Morris Minors, Hillman Minxes and Ford Anglias.
I stayed at the Queen’s Hotel, all echoing wooden corridors and polished staircases. In the Botanical Gardens I found the tree that Queen Elizabeth planted.
In the serenity of the Temple of the Tooth, what is said to be the Buddha’s tooth is kept safe within the innermost of seven caskets.
Sigiriya is a quarter the size of Ayers Rock, topped with the 1,500-year-old fortress of the playboy King Kasyapa. He killed his father and surrounded himself with a crocodile-filled moat to exclude his vengeful brother.
I decided against the one-hour, 900ft climb to the top for the ancient frescoes and spicy graffiti.
Instead I strolled into the jungle that smothers the massive defensive stones at the rock’s base.
Huge, golden-green butterflies fluttered past. A strange symphony of birds burbled out of the trees – Sri Lanka has many wonderful avian species.
In a gap in the canopy I caught a flash of orange at the top of the rock. It was a Buddhist monk in his vivid garb. Yet more serendipity.
Most visitors stay on the west and south coasts where there's a growing choice of chic boutique hotels. You can book trips by coach or car (with your own private driver) to most parts of Sri Lanka. For short distances the ubiquitous motorised tuk-tuks are fun.
My advice is not to even consider hiring a car. Roads are an all-day adrenaline rush. You need an expert at the wheel to dodge the massive Ashok Leyland Tusker lorries painted with idealised landscapes, jam-packed buses and wobbling bikes with impossible loads.
The little station on the Colombo to Galle line close by my hotel felt like a slumbering country halt from 1950s Britain. Behind the ticket office’s narrow arched window, a clerk consulted his tomes and solemnly outlined my choices – I opted for a 90-minute trip in second class for about 50p.
On the platform I joined goats and men there just for a chat. We lurched off down the beautiful coast to Galle. Another epic rail journey is Colombo to Trincomalee, a city on the east coast.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - August 2019
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