November 2019


Delightful South
November 2019




Kalutara: The unique sight of the stupa is enchanting.

Pack your beach essentials, grab your sunshades and head to the south, because the season is here! If sun-kissed beaches, splashing waves, and soothing breeze complemented with heritage and diverse nature are what thrills the traveller in you, Sri Lanka's southern coast would be your ideal destination. As the last months of the year rolls near, the intermittent rains of the South-west monsoons subside, leaving the southern coastal line pristine and inviting. The charm of quaint beachside towns, heritage sites, and nature's surprises can only be discovered on a trip down south, on the highway or the railway.

Words: Roomini Wijayarathne.

Kalutara
On your way down south, is the Kalutara beach that you cannot simply pass by. Situated just over 40 kilometres from Colombo, Kalutara is known for being the river mouth of Kalu River, and the home of the Kalutara Bodhi and impressive Dagoba. With the rare combination of seascapes, river views and a beautiful skyline with the stupa, Kalutara beach is perfect for a stopover. Soft sand gives way to crashing waves and if you wait for the sunset, it will be one of the most spectacular ones you have ever seen.

Bentota
Bentota beach extends about six to seven kilometres and is one of the most tranquil beaches you would find along the coastal line of Sri Lanka. Known for the ideal seas for water sports, visitors find themselves enjoying a thrilling speed boat ride, jet ski ride, and surfing, water skiing or kite surfing. Venture inland for an artistic treat at the Lunuganga and the Brief Garden by the brothers Geoffrey Bawa and Bevis Bawa respectively.

Hikkaduwa 
Hikkaduwa is best known for its beautiful beaches and shallow waters. The coral reef close to the shore invites visitors to go snorkelling and diving to discover a beautiful world underwater, surrounded by fish and turtles. A quaint beach town, Hikkaduwa comes to life at night. It offers a vibrant experience of seaside life with fresh seafood and wayside music, as waves splash loud over in the beach.

Galle 
Merely 14 kilometres down the coast from Hikkaduwa lies Southern Sri Lanka's historical fort town, Galle. A World Heritage Site, the Fort still exudes an old-world charm, even though half a millennium has passed since the Fort was constructed. While revelling in the history of the Fort, there is much to discover on the shores as well. The Lighthouse stands in the Fort waiting to be explored, and if you are in for a little hiking adventure, Rumassala Mountain juts out into the sea, offering beautiful seaside panoramas.

Unawatuna
Unawatuna bay, merely minutes from Galle, is made up of stretches of beach with golden sand. Sunset there is simply beautiful. With the waters calmed by a reef boundary at the mouth of the bay Unawatuna is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. If you are in for an adventure, you can explore the shipwrecks offshore for a unique experience.

Weligama 
A lively beach village, Weligama is home to a soft, sandy beach. A beach break ensures that the waves are not too strong, making the waters safe for an amateur rider to learn surfing. As the night falls, the beach village comes alive, with lights flickering in many a restaurant and bar along the coastal highway, and music streaming loud.

Mirissa
Whale watching is one of the many delights that Mirissa has in store. Famous for the sightings of the gigantic blue whale, it is also in close vicinity to several charming beaches like Dalawella and Polhena, and offers plenty of opportunities to go beach-hopping. Mirissa is a beautiful beach with many photo-worthy sceneries, and is a must-see in your coastal trip.

Tangalle 
Tropical sunlight abounds in Tangalle, a coastal town 35 kilometres to the east of Matara. Reminders of 18th century Dutch days, old villas and a fort add historical presence along with a centuries' old rock temple, Mulkirigala. Tangalle is ideal for the traveller who seeks a relaxing beach holiday in the island nation.

The season also signals the start of turtle nesting, and you can witness the beautiful spectacle at Kosgoda, Rekawa, Bundala and Ambalantota. Your coastal journey down south during the season would be one of the fondest memories you will ever have, with Sri Lanka's warm hospitality and paradise island charm.

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    Bentota: Bentota is a popular water-sport hub in Sri Lanka.

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    Hikkaduwa: The vast stretch of Hikkaduwa offers a spectacular seaside experience.

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    Galle: Galle Fort has a colonial splendour.

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    Unawatuna: Unawatuna bay is perfect for a sea-bath.

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    Weligama: Weligama offers ideal waters for surfing.

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    Mirissa: Witness the giants of the sea at Mirissa.

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    Tangalle: Experience the charming coastal bliss at Tangalle.

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